With less than a month to go until the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, we’re taking an early look at the key ante-post contenders.
Only 24 runners can go to post over the 21 fences in the Grade 3 Chase, so expect the current field of 60 to be whittled down over the coming month.
As it stands, American and Total Recall head the market at 8/1 apiece.
Of the two, it’s Total Recall that gets our vote thanks to his impressive reappearance in the Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick last month.
The eight-year-old recorded a first victory for trainer Willie Mullins after switching yards from Sandra Hughes last year. In hacking up by 7l from 2016 World Hurdle runner-up Alpha Des Obeaux, the son of Westerner laid down an impressive marker.
Meanwhile, American is yet to return to the track since a hat-trick of wins over 3m last season. He remains unbeaten over fences for trainer Harry Fry but will be thrown in cold at Newbury without the option of a run beforehand.
Coneygree was pulled up in the Charlie Hall Chase recently and is 10/1 to return to winning ways in the Ladbrokes Trophy. He’s only finished outside of the top three once when making it to the end, but we think this could be a stretch too far the 10-year-old.
Better value can be found in Singlefarmpayment and Whisper, both at 12/1.
The former finished 4l behind Scottish Grand National runner-up Cogry on his reappearance. But with the extra 1f and a ½ that December’s renewal provides, we’re expecting Tom George’s mount to go close.
Whisper, on the other hand, was bridesmaid to Might Bite at both Cheltenham and Aintree last season. Now in his second year as a chaser, he makes appeal at more than enticing odds.
The latter is the second horse in the ante-post betting to have switched yards to Mullins. And after two disappointing showings at the end of the 2016-17 season, there’s hope that the champion trainer will be able to reinvigorate the son of Network and recapture his former glories.
Yala Enki, A Genie In Abottle, Alpha Des Obeaux and O O Seven round out those priced at 20/1 or under.
Click here for the latest Ladbrokes Trophy odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.