The Ladbrokes Trophy which was previously known as the Hennessy is a Grade 3 handicap chase that's contested over a distance of three miles and a furlong and it's a race that has a rather illustrious back catalogue of winners which include the likes of Denman, Many Clouds, Smad Place and Native River to name but a few. There's probably not one on the same level as a few of those here but it still makes for an intriguing and competitive renewal with what's a seemingly small field this time around with just the 13 runners.
Thomas Patrick currently heads affairs for Tom Lacey and Richard Johnson who had a good season last term winning several decent contests and made his return with a close up second in Listed company at Sandown last time. He's a prominent racer and could well make his presence felt from the front under the champion jockey. The horse that got the better of the market leader at Sandown the last day was Elegant Escape and he reopposes him here for Colin Tizzard and Harry Cobden. There's not all that much between them in the betting and you'd like to think that there won't be much between them on the course either again however the market principal is now five pounds better off, Elegant Escape also likes to be up there with the pace. Ms Parfois developed into a very smart chaser last term and ran big races in big contests for the duration of the season. She typically jumps well and travels powerfully throughout her races from a prominent position and on this occasion she can be found in the market generally around the 11/2 mark. Alan King sends Dingo Dollar to take his chance here, he made somewhat of an eye catching return to the track here the last day when staying on into fourth when looking seemingly beaten some way out. Wayne Hutchinson takes the ride and he's a general 8/1 chance. The Young Master has bounced back to form this term with successive victories the latter of these coming at Cheltenham last time out. He'll have to take another step up should he play a part again here but he's a tough gritty performer that's still on a decent mark and you wouldn't really want to be ruling him out. Sam Waley-Cohen reunites the partnership and he's around a 10/1 chance.
The fan favourite that is Black Corton looks to take his chance here for Paul Nicholls and Byrony Frost. He looked to be as good as ever when making his return at Wetherby last time in the Charlie Hall when finishing second to Definitely Red despite a bad error earlier on in that particular contest. It's likely he'll run his race again however a step up will be required within this type of race. Harry Fry sends American here to make his reappearance here following a ninth placed effort in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, that was a stiff task that day however this won't be all that much easier. He was disappointing when pulled up in this last year but a return to the form of his second placed effort in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham the time after would however give him a chance. Colin Tizzard has two runners at present in the line up and these come in the form of Sizing Tennessee and West Approach. The former made a smart return to the track last time at Fontwell when winning by several lengths going away at the end and could well play a part from the front under the eye catching jockey booking of Tom Scudamore. West Approach requires a significant step up judging on his current form and he's currently at the foot of the market at around 33/1. Nigel Twiston-Davies also has two runners in the line up here and these are Flying Angel and Go Conquer. Flying Angel improved on a laboured reappearance run last time with a decent second placed effort in a decent contest at Ascot whereas Go Conquer ran a slightly below par run at the same track earlier in the month. These are 16/1 and 33/1 respectively. Beware The Bear represents Nicky Henderson and should have bags of stamina should the going get on the soft side and to conclude the runners Allyson Monterg is a prominent racer to keep an eye on for Richard Hobson. He's an interesting contender that has every chance of running a big race at a price.
THOMAS PATRICK - (4/1)
DINGO DOLLAR - (8/1)