According to the weather forecasters we are now officially in winter and looking at the weather for the week ahead, we can look forward to, mainly dry days and frosty nights during the first half of the week.
I am just seeing the back of a nasty cold which has laid me low for the last few days. So, this week’s column is shorter than normal.
My, thoughts on the Ladbroke Trophy and a bit more besides can be found inside.
Have a great week and enjoy the read.
Ben brings home the bacon
On paper it looked an ultra-competitive renewal of this years Ladbroke Trophy, with twenty-four runners declared to go to post. Well they provided a good race that produced a great finish and a super ride by the winning jockey.
Conditional Jockey Ben Jones always had De Rasher Counter in a good position, just tracking the leaders, and had the 7-year-old in a good jumping rhythm from the off.
Taking it up four from home, he soon had his rivals in trouble. His backers must have been wondering whether he'd gone for home to soon. They didn’t have to worry.
Between the final two it looked like The Conditional, who had travelled just as well the winner, would throw down a strong challenge. However, De Rasher Counter jumped the last superbly and stayed on too strongly for the eventual runner-up.
After the race trainer Emma Lavelle was taking about the Grand National for the son of Yates. I think that race could be a bit early for him but there’s no doubt he got a big future as a staying chaser.
Ladbroke Trophy eyecatchers
How did some of the rest fare?
Elegant Escape finished the race off as well as any to finish third. The first-time blinkers seemed to help with his jumping and he’s a horse clearly suited by races run at a good gallop. Last years Welsh Grand National winner needs further than 3m 2f and looks Grand National contender.
Beware the Bear who had won the 3m 1f Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival also probably needs further now and would have preferred softer ground than he got on Saturday.
Like 12 months ago Dingo Dollar ran well for a long way before eventually finishing 5th. I’m not convinced he stays 3m 2f but he can win a decent pot when dropped back to 3m.
Joe Farrell, the 2018 Scottish Grand National winner found 3m 2f too short a trip in this company and needs much further to get back into the winner’s enclosure.
I hope you were on
Hopefully plenty of you took my advice last week and backed De Rasher Counter. I really fancied him for the Ladbroke Trophy. As I wrote here last week:
“The best of last season’s form means he comes into the Ladbroke Trophy off what looks a workable mark of 149. The son of Yeats has yet to race beyond 3m but gives of the impression he will stay further. He’s been nicely backed for the race but the 16/1 still available looks each way value to this pundit”.
The joys of ante post betting
I have so far advised Victor Value Subscribers three ante post bets and one has now delivered.
I had fallen out of love with ante post betting, but the pendulum has swung the other way and I’m expecting plenty more winning selections between now and the Cheltenham Festival.
So, if you want to be on a few more De Rasher Counter’s. You can join me here.
Looking forward to Saturday
Every weekend at this time of year we can look forward to some great racing. On Saturday it’s Tingle Creek Day at Sandown and at Aintree the Grand National fences are back in action with the Becher Chase and Grand Sefton Handicaps.
Grand Sefton Handicap – Aintree
Paul Nicholls won last years Grand Sefton Handicap with Warrior’s Tale and his race record since 2013 is 3 winners from 9 runners 33% +21.5 5 placed 56%.
He’s got four entered up for this year’s renewal and anything he saddles must be respected.
Last weeks Monday selection On the Slopes managed to grab the each-way money when finishing third at Kempton.
2:45 – The Road Home, returned from a 179-day break and a wind-op over C&D 26-days ago. The 7-year-old was sent off the 3/1 favourite that day and was still travelling well enough when unseating his rider five out. He looks on a winnable mark and if none the worse for that mishap won't be far away at the finish.
The Road Home
Until next week