The £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase is due off at 3.00 at Newbury on Saturday, one of the most prestigious races in the National Hunt calendar. It was formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup and has nine Cheltenham Gold Cup winners on its roll of honour. These include the legendary Arkle (1964, 1965), Burrough Hill Lad (1983), Denman (2007, 2009) and Native River (2016). Other notable winners include Mill House (1963), Spanish Steps (1969), Playschool (1987), One Man (1994) and Many Clouds (2014).
Willie Mullins won the race last year with Total Recall who was one of seven early entries from his stable. This year he relies on top weight Kemboy. He fell in the Irish National but has won his last three starts, culminating in a Grade 2 chase at Clonmel. A 4lbs penalty takes his weight up to a rather daunting 11st 12lbs, although this does not look like a particularly high class renewal.
The tough and consistent mare Ms Parfois will have her supporters for the Anthony Honeyball stable. She was a brave second to Rathvinden at Cheltenham before chasing home Terrefort at Aintree. With three wins and four places in her seven starts over fences, she should give her supporters a good run for their money.
Elegant Escape and Thomas Patrick were first and second at Sandown in November and re-oppose on similar terms. Dingo Dollar caught the eye when staying on into fourth over hurdles at Newbury last time and Alan King will have him spot on for the weekend. He was a progressive novice last season and won by a wide margin over three miles here in December.
Black Corton looks to have plenty of weight but ran his usual game race when second in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. That race was not up to the usual standard because of the unseasonal fast ground. The pick of the outsiders could be Sizing Tennessee, the mount of Tom Scudamore. He has not always been the most reliable of jumpers but put in a good round at Fontwell last time.
Ladbrokes Trophy Betting Tips
Willie Mullins has an excellent chance of winning the race for the second consecutive year with KEMBOY. He can race a little freely but there are plenty of front-runners here so he should have the opportunity to settle. MS PARFOIS must be respected and will run her usual game race. SIZING TENNESSEE looks the best each-way value at around 25-1.