Kemboy tops 14 contenders for Ladbrokes Trophy gold

Elegant Escape also features in Newbury handicap highlight

  • Thursday 29 November
  • News
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Kemboy heads a field of 14 runners for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday.

The six-year-old emerged as a leading contender for the prestigious handicap – formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup – when making a successful start to his campaign in the Clonmel Oil Chase a fortnight ago.

Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins, who won last year’s renewal with Total Recall, had seven contenders at Monday’s confirmation stage, but Kemboy is his only declared runner.

The sole Irish raider is joined at the head of the weights on 11st 12lb by the Paul Nicholls-trained Black Corton, who finished second in the Charlie Hall Chase on his return to action.

Nicholls told At The Races: “He schooled on Wednesday morning and he was on fire – Bryony (Frost) had a job sitting on him.

“He really is very well and that run at Wetherby has brought him on.

“It was a career-best performance (at Wetherby) and it puts him in the mix on Saturday. He’s a big price.

“He’s not the biggest and he’s carrying quite a lot of weight, but the weights are quite close this year and he’s very well.”

Colin Tizzard’s ante-post favourite Elegant Escape is next on the list. The Dorset-based trainer also saddles Sizing Tennessee and West Approach.

Thomas Patrick is another leading contender, after being beaten just half a length by Elegant Escape at Sandown three weeks ago, and trainer Tom Lacey is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “I’d say Newbury could easily end up soft if they end up getting more rain.

“He doesn’t have to lead – he’ll be prominent – but that’s Richard Johnson’s job. You don’t tell Richard how to ride a horse.

“He’s pretty straightforward and he’s in great form. He did his last bit of proper work on Tuesday and Stan Sheppard, who has been riding him, says he feels better than ever.”

Alan King’s Dingo Dollar has been well backed in recent days following a pleasing comeback run over hurdles at Newbury.

“I was very pleased with his run over hurdles and everything has gone well since,” said King

“Obviously there’s a lot of rain around and he wouldn’t want the ground too soft. As long as it doesn’t get too desperate, I hope he’ll run well.

“Whether he’s classy enough to win a Ladbrokes Trophy I’m not sure, but I think he deserves to take his chance.”

Harry Fry saddles American, who will be ridden by 5lb claimer Aine O’Connor.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained pair of Go Conquer and Flying Angel, Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear, Anthony Honeyball’s mare Ms Parfois, Richard Hobson’s Allysson Monterg and Neil Mulholland’s bottom weight The Young Master complete the line-up.

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