The Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup) has been won by some top horses in the past. The likes of Denman, Bobs Worth and Many Clouds have won the race in recent history and gone on to achieve great things. There are plenty of horses in today’s line up who are unexposed and yet to reach their peak. The race has an open look to it, without no standout candidate and there is a handful of horses at the top of the market who have excellent claims.
The current favourite is Total Recall (5/1) trained by Willie Mullins. He recently made the move to the Irish Champion Trainer from Sandra Hughes and won by an easy 7 lengths on his stable debut. He could still have more to offer but he has taken a massive rise in the weights and there hasn’t been an Irish trained winner of the race since 1980. Despite the obvious positives and strong support this week, it could be wise to look elsewhere.
Whisper (7/1) was only beaten by Might Bite in 4 starts over fences last season and made a winning reappearance when beating Clan Des Obeaux (who has won since) at Kempton. He is a 9-year-old who has only had 6 starts over fences in his career and trainer Nicky Henderson won the race back in 2012 with Triolo D’Alene.
Singlefarmpayment (6/1), Cogry (16/1), and Present Man (18/1) all bring strong recent form to the table with the last named looking to provide up and coming jockey Bryony Frost with her biggest career victory. Singlefarmpayment and Cogry were 1st and 2nd in a strong race at Cheltenham last time out and should both be thereabouts at the finish. It would also be foolish to dismiss former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree (12/1). Although lightly raced in recent seasons, he still retains ability and could put up a bold show off top weight if he can put his recent mishap at Wetherby behind him.
One that catches the eye more than most however is the Harry Fry trained American (6/1). He won his 3 starts over fences in a light novice campaign last season and this has been the plan for some time. He missed the major spring festivals because of the ground and the softer going at Newbury will be ideal. The lack of a recent prep run is somewhat concerning but he will surely be primed for the toughest assignment of his short career. The form of his chase wins to date looks solid and he could have a big season ahead of him.