By James Daly
Saturday 2nd Dec sees the running of the historic Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup), at Newbury over three and quarter miles.
A Grade 3 handicap, it normally provides a cracking spectacle and tomorrow’s race looks well up to scratch. Likely favourite for the race is the Willie Mullin’s trained Total Recall, a ready winner of the Munster National at Limerick in October. Still off a handy weight, the eight-year-old is bound to go well, but is not great value at around 9/2. Of more interest is the Tom George trained Singlefarmpayment who ran right up to his best when finishing second to Cogry in a Class 2 handicap at Cheltenham over 3 miles 1 furlong in October.
The seven-year-old has not had a lot of racing, but did win a Grade 2 novice chase last season and was short headed in the competitive 23 runner Grade 3 Ultima handicap chase at the Festival, so he should have enough experience to cope with both the fences and the field size, at Newbury tomorrow. At around 7/1 currently, Singlefarmpayment looks sure to run a very big race and be in the money .Of the others, American, another seven year old, trained by Harry Fry, could the horse in the race with a future, having won all his novice races well, last season .Whatever he does tomorrow ,he is sure to improve and could be a Gold Cup contender come March 2018.Of the relative outsiders, Nigel Twiston Davies’s Cogry ,although meeting the re-opposing Singlefarmpayment on 5lbs worse terms, could still be the each way value at around 14/1, particularly if the ground dried up.
Also, the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth hurdle is run at Newcastle. With long odds on favourite in Buveur D’Air, there must be a case for a small each way (first two only) interest in Apple’s Jade, who has fitness on her side and gets 7lbs weight allowance from the favourite. It would not the first time a hot favourite has been overturned in this race over the years.