(Free tips 2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018, 9/101,31p, +55)
3.00 Newbury: The Ladbrokes Trophy
Elegant Escape – 1 point win – 5/1 (gen) (11/2 in places as of 9am)
Beware The Bear – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen)
as of 16.52 Friday evening, write up/preview…
This race may not be as high class as previous years and it’s the smallest field size for some time. That may make my stats/trends in the report below a bit redundant but in any case it’s still a competitive race and a few of these will go on to rate higher. I’ve used the stats as a guide and historically a win at Listed or above already and those that have had 0-1 run in the previous 90 days is the place to focus.
Those two stats help cut the field in half and if they hold for the 11th year running, then the winner is from this list : Thomas P / Elegant Escape / Ms Parfoir/ American / Black Corton / Beware The Bare
Elegant Escape – maybe a bit short for me but the top of the market has a decent record in this race – or what I would call ‘shorties’ anyway, with many winning at single figure odds. As I was looking last night I couldn’t work out why he was bigger than Thomas Patrick. Clearly I won’t be shocked if i’ve picked the wrong one of the two. TP is a very good jumper, probably a shade better than the selection but he did beat him at Sandown, despite looking burly pre race and not 100% fit, despite trying to take the last with him and trying to overhaul a horse who was able to dictate his pace . I just thought there wouldn’t be much in it again, even with the penalty. This is the furthest he’s run in his career to date and he looks sure to relish it to me. Having watched a few runs back, I thought it wasn’t impossible that he could be a stronger stayer than the fav. This race will put that theory to the test. I also liked the fact that, unlike Thomas P, he’s run well in a few Grade 1s already, including the RSA. He knows how to go ‘championship pace’ I suppose whereas TP has that to prove – this will be unlike any chase he’s run in to date for me, and we shall see how he handles it. Clearly he could win this well, but I didn’t think Elegant Escape should be 1.5-2 points bigger. That is the point. He will track any pace and should be able to settle in a good position. He was the one I wanted onside out of the top 3 in the market, at the odds!
Beware The Bear – well I needed a decent priced horse on side in this and my pin landed on him. He is 2/2 on his seasonal reappearances to date, Henderson is in form, and has the best record in the race of those trainers represented. I have to think he will be a1 for this and ready to run his race- whether that’s good enough we shall find out. He’s had a wind op and they put CP on him to help him concentrate – hopefully that means he may travel a bit better and jump more fluently. I think he’s the strongest stayer in this race – he just jumps and gallops at his best, and with the rain falling, this could turn into a real test. I think they’ve had 8mm already as I type. That will slow down the pace for him and of course bring his stamina into play. The danger is that he clouts the odd fence and gets a bit detached- albeit he rarely looks like coming down. In any case, I thought 16s was too big given his profile as there could still be more to come. He has a big staying chase in him if bringing it all together and he looks to be best fresh. He could be staying on powerfully and overhaul everything in front, or we may need the binoculars to spot him out the back. If he’s in a rhythm after 3 fences and holding a position, i’ll start to get excited. 16s was worth a roll of the dice.
Of the rest…well it would be superb for connections of the gutsy mare Ms Parfoir took this, but I really struggle to back a horse at 11/2 / 6/1 in a race like this when returning after a break. I don’t think she’s overpriced as such and I’d prefer to be with the two race fit market rivals. But – she jumps, travels and gallops and races prominently. She could just be staying on when everything else has given up – well, until the Bear grinds past after the last! She has decent races in her this season if campaigned properly and I wouldn’t mind seeing her in the Welsh National or something like that. Honeyball can ready them and she’s sure to run well, but given the break I was happy to leave her at the prices. 8/s9/s + would have been a different story I think. I may have her wrong.
Black Corton- I should mention him. He’s the best horse in the race on ratings/what they have achieved to date and maybe his class will win the day. In softening ground I had concerns about the actual weight on his back- he’s not the biggest I don’t recall and he’s yet to carry more than 11-7 in a chase. Lugging 11-12 around here, at this pace, in soft, over 26f, is some ask and I don’t think he’s quite like Denman! He raced plenty for a novice last season and I thought a handful of others – well the 3 market leaders- were open to more improvement than him. But, he may not need to improve and running up to this mark will be sufficient. His form ties in with a few and he’s been in front and behind Elegant Escape a few times last season. I think the selection and a few others will see this out better than him but by the trainer’s own admission, he’s training him properly this season- rather than just running him every week! He is the big priced ‘clanger’ I think but I talked myself out of him.
I was happy to leave the rest and if something else wins then I wasn’t near them and as is standard when that happens i’ll be annoyed, stare out the window for a time, punch a cushion, (i hate unsolved puzzles) then go back with my ‘hindsight eyes’ and make a case, and wonder why I wasn’t on! 🙂
I should mention Dingo Dollar as he’s unexposed but I was put off by the lack of win at Listed+ …many in here have achieved a higher level of form already and are equally open to as much progress. I was happy to leave at 15/2 and if he wins then credit to connections. He has a good season ahead but maybe not today. Well, hopefully not today.
Newbury Trends/Stats etc from members’ club HERE>>>
That will be all for today’s free post, best of luck with any bets.