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2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tips – Odds, trends and two tips for this historic handicap at Newbury

  • We take a look through the ante-post betting for the Ladbrokes Trophy
  • This Grade Three Handicap Chase has been won by many of the sport’s finest chasers
  • The 2020 Ladbrokes Trophy will be run at Newbury racecourse on Saturday 28th November
  • Vinndication has been backed into favouritism in recent days
  • We bring you the latest odds and some key trends, before highlighting two horses to back
Ladbrokes Trophy
A view of the runners in last year's Ladbrokes Trophy. (Getty)

We take a look through the latest Ladbrokes Trophy odds and list some key trends, before highlighting two horses to back at Newbury on Saturday 28th November.

Despite only holding handicap status, the Ladbrokes Trophy – formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup – is one of the most important races during the first half of the National Hunt season. 

Ever since the Mandarin triumphed in the inaugural running of the Ladbrokes Trophy back in 1957, the race has attracted a stellar field, with legends like Burrough Hill Lad, Denman, Many Clouds and Arkle featuring on the honours boards at Newbury racecourse.

I was lucky enough to tip the winner, De Rasher Counter at 16/1 last season, and also a 20/1 placer in Dingo Dollar. Here’s my guide to this year’s race and two betting tips.

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Odds


Name
Best Odds
Vinndication6/1
Aye Right15/2
Kildisart15/2
The Conditional8/1
Black Op8/1
Copperhead9/1
Two For Gold9/1
Cloth Cap10/1
Bar12/1

*Odds taken from Ladbrokes on 27/11/20*

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Trends


  • 10 of the last 10 winners had won at least twice over fences
  • 10 of the last 10 winners had won around a left-handed track
  • 9 of the last 10 winners went off at 12/1 or shorter
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had won over three miles or further
  • 9 of the last 10 winners were rated between 146 and 156
  • 9 of the last 10 winners were aged between 6 and 8
  • 8 of the last 10 winners carried 10-08 or more
  • 8 of the last 10 winners were making their second start of the season

the conditional ultima
The Conditional (right) fends off Kildisart and Vinndication to win the 2020 Ultima Handicap Chase. (Getty)

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Runners


Vinndication2020 Ladbrokes Trophy FavouriteGET 6/1 HERE
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Since the final declarations came in for Saturday's main event, Vinndication has been backed into favouritism. Kim Bailey's starfluffed his lines at the first fence in the Charlie Hall Chase on his reappearance, but stayed on behind Cyrname to claim second ahead of Aye Right.

Vinndication is clearly a very classy chaser. Yet, he remains winless after three starts around left-handed tracks, and only Bob’s Worth and Denman have won the Ladbrokes Trophy with a rating higher than 160 in the last 25 years. Is Vinndication a Gold Cup quality chaser, like they were? I don't think so.

A win for Aye Right would be a fairytale story for trainer Harriet Graham, who has only a handful of horses in training. Based on his performances at Kelso and Wetherby this season, Graham’s seven-year looks well-treated running off an official mark of 150. On the few occasions he has ventured further south than Newcastle, though, his results haven’t been nearly as good, and a large-field handicap chase like this is unknown territory.

Kildisart went down by just a neck to The Conditional in the Ultima, when giving the winner eleven pounds at the weights. Ben Pauling’s charge warmed up for Newbury with a strong third in the West Yorkshire Hurdle, and looks primed to run a big race. I just fear there may be a few who are treated better at the weights.

The Conditional beat Vinndication and Kildisart in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his last start. David Bridgewater’s star finished second to De Rasher Counter here 12 months ago. He was, however, running off a mark ten-pounds lower than what he’ll carry next Saturday, and Brendan Powell’s mount was race-fit, having run twice already that autumn. Victory in the Ultima means The Conditional will be running off a career-high mark of 147 for the first time at Newbury. He has to prove he’s worthy of such a mark.

Two For Gold has been well-backed in recent days, and it’s easy to see why. Kim Bailey’s charge won a Grade Two over three miles as a novice last season, and ran well under the burden of top-weight on his reappearance at Wetherby. Two For Gold is up another two-pounds for that runner-up effort, and I’m not fully convinced he’s particularly well-handicapped.

Black Op, who has secured some decent results in novice chases has still only won one fairly modest race in six starts over the larger obstacles, and I don’t really trust his jumping. Cloth Cap has been really well backed in recent days too, but he hasn't won since he was rated 125, and Jonjo O'Neill's charge has been beaten off this sort of mark on his last six starts.

copperhead newbury
Copperhead bolts up in the Mandarin Handicap here at Newbury last December. (Getty)

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tips - Tip One


Copperhead2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tip OneGET 10/1 HERE
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My first selection in this year’s Ladbrokes Trophy will be COPPERHEAD. Colin Tizzard’s star shot up the weights by 30 pounds during his novice season, thanks to impressive handicap wins at Wincanton and here at Newbury, before thrashing Two For Gold, Sam Brown and Danny Whizzbang in the Reynoldstown at Ascot.

Copperhead then made his Grade One debut in the RSA Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Harry Cobden’s mount didn’t jump that well, and had to be bumped along a couple of times during the first half of the race. It was no surprise, then, to see Copperhead fade rapidly when the pace picked up late on, falling at the final flight when well beaten.

Things didn’t go much better in the West Yorkshire Hurdle on his reappearance, where Copperhead was pulled-up abruptly before the third-last. Tizzard’s star seemed to lose his action that day and, with this race in mind, I wasn’t surprised at all to see Adrian Heskin pull the plug before he could do any damage to himself.

Copperhead has the perfect profile for this race. He’s a young, second-season chaser, who secured some impressive results as a novice. Tizzard’s star looked a real prospect when hacking up in the Mandarin Handicap over course-and-distance, and proved that win an emphatic Grade Two triumph in February. 

In the last five years, Colin Tizzard has trained the winner of this race twice. Elegant Escape has finished second and third in that time too, and Theatre Guide followed Smad Place home in 2015. Copperhead ran up to an RPR of 158 when winning at Ascot, so he certainly seems well-treated running off an official mark of 152. 

beware the bear
Beware The Bear winning the 2019 Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tips - Tip Two


Beware The Bear E/W2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tip TwoGET 20/1 HERE
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With as many as five paid places likely to be available, it makes sense to back a second runner at a longer price who could potentially hit the frame. Options further down the market, however, seem fairly limited.

You’ve got horses like Potterman, who would appeal on really good autumn ground. Secret Investor is another who would want good ground, and I fear he's a little too high in the handicap anyway.

La Bague Au Roi seems to be in the twilight of her career. Regal Encore seems to save his best for Ascot. Mister Malarky finished sixth off this mark last season and brings little form to the table. 

Danny Whizzbang ran a terrible race on their reappearances in the Badger Beers Trophy. Ardlethen hasn't progressed as quickly as expected over fences, and Ballyoptic has his work cut out giving weight to the field.

The only one who holds slight appeal for me is BEWARE THE BEAR, who'll be having his third crack at the Ladbrokes Trophy on Saturday. Nicky Henderson's charge finished a distant fourth here the year he won the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, and was staying on gamely when he placed fourth again 12-months ago.

Beware The Bear skipped a return to Cheltenham last year to get ready for the Grand National, which was canceled due to Covid-19. The long-term goal again will be the Grand National, but Jerry McGrath's mount proved last year that he was capable of challenging off this mark, and he could hit the frame once again.
US

Verdict

Copperhead ticks every box for the Ladbrokes Trophy, and I'm confident he's the best-handicapped runner in the field.

I'll also like to take a punt on Beware The Bear, who finished fourth for the second year in a row off this mark 12 months ago, and often runs well fresh.

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tip 1: Copperhead Straight Win @1000.0 at William Hill - 20 Units
2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Tip 2: Beware The Bear Each-Way @2000.0 at bet365 Sport NJ - 5 Units

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