Newbury: Sizing Tennessee leads Tizzard one-two in £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy - local interest Dingo Dollar is third
It may have rained for much of the afternoon on day two of Newbury's 2018 Ladbrokes Winter Carnival (Saturday, December 1), but the feature race - the £250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Trophy - turned into a Tizzard blizzard - led by Sizing Tennessee.
Sizing Tennessee won an impressive victory over Elegant Escape as trainer Colin Tizzard recorded a memorable first and second in Britain's second-richest handicap chase. Another Tizzard trained entry came in fifth.
Ladbrokes Trophy Day drew a crowd of just over 16,000 which was marginally down on 2017, while the two day Ladbrokes Winter Carnival saw over 23,000 racegoers at Newbury Racecourse.
Despite the previous week's rain and another 8mm between 5am and gates open at 10.00am the ground stayed soft on the hurdle course and soft, good to soft in places on the chase course.
The Colin Tizzard-trained Sizing Tennessee (12/1) produced a scintillating performance to capture the Ladbrokes Trophy - over three miles and a furlong with twelve runners starting.
Ridden by Tom Scudamore, the 10-year-old son of Robin Des Champs travelled menacingly into contention approaching the home straight and took the lead four fences from home. Sizing Tennessee went clear and sealed a tremendous victory with an excellent leap at the last to run out a convincing 10-length winner.
Tizzard, who is based on the Somerset/Dorset border, also saddled Elegant Escape (Harry Cobden, 4/1), who ran on in the closing stages to finish second, seven lengths ahead of Dingo Dollar in third (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 10/1), who was prominent throughout.
Local punters were keen for the Barbury Castle trained Dingo Dollar to take the race - hoping Alan King would repeat his Hennessy win with Smad Place in 2015, also under Wayne Hutchinson. Dingo Dollar jumped well and was with the leaders throughout, but could not get up to challenge the two Tizzard horses. Still, one to watch as the season progresses.
The third Tizzard trained horse home was West Approach (Adam Wedge, 25/1), who came fifth.
Reflecting on his second Ladbrokes Trophy victory following on from Native River in 2016, Tizzard called it '...a brilliant performance from Sizing Tennessee': "It was fantastic to win and it's an unreal day. We haven't run this horse since he bolted up at Fontwell in October."
"We wanted to give him one race before Christmas and he delivers that performance. Sizing Tennessee had leg trouble before he came to me and he was a horse who had low mileage."
"Sizing Tennessee strode away today and obviously it does surprise you with the manner in which he won. I thought he would run a big race and he was travelling well on the way into the straight. He was the horse in the home straight that if he didn't clobber one, he was going to win.
"His jumping has become very good. This horse is in the Welsh National and that is something we might look at. To have three in the first five in a race of this nature is incredible."
An emotional Tom Scudamore, successful for the second time in the Ladbrokes Trophy after Madison Du Berlais in 2008, commented: "I lost my grandad two weeks ago, my mother's father, and it was his funeral yesterday, but I wasn't able to go."
"Those are the sacrifices you make and I was so sorry that I wasn't able to be there, but he was with us today. He was a tremendous man, a legend in the Ledbury area, and he helped a lot of people. This one is for him."
In the opening race of the second day of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, Paul Nicholls-trained Posh Trish (11/8 favourite), owned by a Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate, produced a smooth performance from the front to make all of the running to win the £25,000 Listed Ladbrokes Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
Ridden by Harry Cobden, the five-year-old daughter of Stowaway jumped with aplomb throughout the two-mile event and despite being challenged by Lust For Glory (Nicky Henderson, Nico de Boinville, 6/4), Posh Trish knuckled down after the last to fend off the Henderson trained horse and win decisively by three and a quarter lengths.