2020 Ladbrokes Trophy guide: Key stats and trends plus tip for the Newbury feature

Sat 28 Nov 2020

The Ladbrokes Trophy is the feature race at Newbury on Saturday with one of the biggest handicap contests of the season taking place at 3.00pm, live on Racing TV.

The Newbury showpiece has been won by the likes of Mandarin, Arkle, Bregawn, One Man, Denman, Many Clouds and Native River, and the three miles and two-furlong contest is renowned for throwing up future staying chase talent.

We have picked out the all-important stats and trends ahead of this year’s renewal which can hopefully help you find the winner of one of the trickiest handicaps of the season.

Watch a full replay of last year's Ladbrokes Trophy

19 of the past 21 winners have been aged eight or younger

One of the biggest handicap chases in the country, the Ladbrokes Trophy has acted as a springboard for many of the sport’s top staying chasers.

Only Denman (nine-year-old) when he regained his title in 2009, and Sizing Tennessee (10-year-old) in 2018, have been aged nine or above in the 21 runnings since 1999.

For this year’s renewal, that is arguably a major negative for the likes of 8-1 chance Black Op, Beware The Bear, La Bague Au Roi and Regal Encore.

Of those 21 renewals, ten winners have been aged seven which puts general 7-1 joint-favourite Aye Right, Vinndication and Two For Gold firmly in the driving seat.

11 of the past 18 winners have carried 10st 13lb or more

The most vivid memory for younger racing fans is Denman’s astonishing weight carrying performance in the 2009 Ladbrokes Trophy.

Under Ruby Walsh, he shouldered a welter-burden 11st 12lb. However, it is often forgotten that he carried the same weight to glory two years earlier in 2007, as did Trabolgan under Mick Fitzgerald in 2005.

It suggests that the narrative of an unexposed contender carrying a low weight in the Ladbrokes Trophy is merely a myth. Invariably, this statistic is a positive for many of the main market principals on Saturday.

Aye Right (11st), Black Op (11st), Kildisart (11st 5lb), Copperhead (11st 2lb), Sam Brown (11st 2lb) and Vinndication (11st 11lb) will all carry more than 10st 13lb.

By contrast, this trend is arguably a negative for the likes of The Conditional (10st 11lb) and Cloth Cap (10st).

13 of the past 18 winners had run at Newbury before_

For some people, course form is crucial, for others it matters little. However, it remains an interesting statistic that a majority of recent Ladbrokes Trophy winners had previous experience of running at the track.

Moreover, nine of those 18 winners also boasted winning form over fences at Newbury. In terms of this year’s renewal, the Colin Tizzard-trained Copperhead is arguably the horse in the line-up who benefits most from this statistic.

A course and distance winner at the track last season, he is 8-1 with the sponsors. Other horses to boast winning course form include Sam Brown, Beware The Bear, Danny Whizzbang and Mister Malarky.

15 of the past 18 winners returned at 12-1 or shorter in the betting

Re-live Native River's victory in the 2016 Ladbrokes Trophy

Traditionally, the Ladbrokes Trophy has been a race in which favourites come to the fore. Three favourites have been successful in the past ten runnings, including 7-2 chance Native River (2016) and 9-2 jolly Total Recall (2017).

Interestingly, Triolo D’Alene in 2013 is the last horse to return at odds bigger than 12-1. The average winning SP in the past 18 years of the contest has been 9-1, which merely highlights this favourite narrative with six winning favourites landing the contest during that time.

As things stand, ten of the 19 runners are priced at 12-1or lower with the sponsor Ladbrokes for Saturday’s renewal, with Aye Right and The Conditional 7-1 joint-favourites.

Four of the last 15 Ladbrokes Trophy winners contested the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton

A fascinating statistic. Native River was third in the 2015 Kauto Star before going on to taste Ladbrokes Trophy success in 2016.

In terms of this year’s renewal, Slate House captured the Grade One prize at Kempton 11 months ago which featured two of this year’s leading Ladbrokes Trophy contenders. Black Op was second on that occasion, 19 lengths ahead of Danny Whizzbang back in third – the pair face-off at Newbury on Saturday once again.

The past seven winners all had a prep race before the Ladbrokes Trophy

A statistic which has carried greater importance in recent years. Interestingly, just two of the 19 runners in this year’s contest have not run so far this term. The Conditional’s last effort came when defeating Kildisart in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival, whilst Beware The Bear has been off the track since finishing eighth over hurdles at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

Eight of the past 17 renewals have been won by Paul Nicholls, Colin Tizzard or Nicky Henderson

Three of National Hunt Racing’s biggest names and responsible for nearly half of the winners of the Ladbrokes Trophy since 2003. Ditcheat maestro Nicholls has tasted success with Strong Flow (2003) and Denman (2007 and 2009). Seven Barrows handler Henderson’s three victories have come courtesy of Trabolgan (2005), Bobs Worth (2012) and Triolo D’Alene (2013), whilst Tizzard has won two of the past four renewals with Native River (2016) and Sizing Tennessee (2018).

The all-conquering triumvirate are responsible for five of the 19 possibles this year, which includes former course and distance winner Copperhead for Tizzard, and the unexposed Secret Investor for Nicholls

Conclusion: Who is suited by the trends?

Can you sometimes read too much into trends? Possibly. However, there are clearly a number of statistics which warrant monitoring when deciding on your fancy for this year’s Ladbrokes Trophy.

Harriet Graham’s Aye Right looks to have plenty in his favour following two solid prep runs and 11st on his back. By contrast, The Conditional lacks a recent run, whilst fellow market rival Black Op is a nine-year-old.

However, the horse who probably comes out best in these trends is COPPERHEAD. He is a course and distance winner, will carry 11st 2lb, is only six and his trainer Colin Tizzard has won two of the past four renewals.

An 8-1 chance with the sponsor, he makes plenty of appeal for the 2020 Ladbrokes Trophy.

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