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Newbury Races: entries announced for Ladbrokes Trophy - can De Rasher Counter win again?

2019: De Rasher Counter & Ben Jones won the Ladbrokes Trophy2019: De Rasher Counter & Ben Jones won the Ladbrokes Trophy2019's winning trainer Emma Lavelle is looking forward to running De Rasher Counter in this year’s £200,000 Ladbrokes Trophy on Saturday, 28 November, for which 39 entries are revealed today (28 October 2020)


The eight-year-old, owned by the Makin’ Bacon Partnership, was partnered to victory last year by 21-year-old conditional jockey Ben Jones, and aims to become only the second horse to win the race in consecutive years.  Arkle holds that record - winning in 1964 and 1965.


Trainer Emma Lavelle said: “De Rasher had a nice warm-up when coming second off top weight in a handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot a couple of weeks ago, which was a little earlier than we had originally planned."


“We are looking forward to running him again in the Ladbrokes Trophy as well as Paisley Park who will make his seasonal appearance in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle on the Friday."


“The whole weekend last year was quite amazing and all being well both horses will be back defending their titles in just a few weeks’ time.”


Among possible opponents for De Rasher Counter is the 2019 RSA winner Topofthegame trained by Paul Nicholls, who has been installed as 5/1 favourite.  The eight-year-old is on target to make his seasonal debut in the race Nicholls last captured with two-time winner Denman in 2009.


Paul Nicholls said: “We remain on target with Topofthegame with the plan to go straight for the Ladbrokes Trophy. We’ll probably take advantage of the invitation to gallop him at Newbury in mid-November as part of their official gallops morning. The prize-money on offer for the big race and across the two days is very good considering the current climate.”


Grade 1 winners Slate House, Black Op, La Bague Au Roi and Blaklion also feature amongst the entries. Slate House is just one of four entries trained by Colin Tizzard, who has enjoyed great success in the race in the last four years winning on two occasions with Native River in 2016 and Elegant Escape in 2018. He has also entered Copperhead, Mister Malarky and Lamanver Pippin.


This year will see the fourth running of the two-day Ladbrokes Winter Carnival on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November with four Graded races and two Listed races held across the two days. This year’s Ladbrokes Trophy is worth £200,000 and 80% of pre-COVID levels, while the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle will be run at last year’s value of £50,000. Prize-money across the two days totals £530,000. 


Keith Ottesen is Newbury's Clerk of the Course: “This is certainly a competitive list of entries and an exciting race in prospect and we are just so sad that we are unable to welcome any spectators to our flagship Jumps Meeting."


"Our continued thanks to our sponsor Ladbrokes for their ongoing commitment to this meeting. With them, we have made a significant investment in prize-money across two days during a very uncertain time for the business which we hope will be welcomed and supported by all.”


Ladbrokes spokesman Jon Lees added: “The Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the most historic jumps races in the calendar which has been won by some of the greats of the sport. This year promises to be another competitive running with 2019 RSA winner Topofthegame, who has been installed 5/1 favourite, bound to earn comparison with the great Denman if he gets to run off top weight after an injury layoff.” 


Ladbrokes Trophy Betting:   5/1 Topofthegame, 8/1 Copperhead, 12/1 Imperial Aura, 14/1 Vinndication, The Conditional, 16/1 Kildisart, Black Op, Danny Whizzbang, 20/1 Secret Investor, De Rasher Counter, Siruh Du Lac, Two For Gold, Aye Right, Hold The Fort, 25/1 bar


The weights for the Ladbrokes Trophy will be published on Wednesday, 4 November 2020.   You can see a short video of last year’s Ladbrokes Trophy winner, De Rasher Counter and the 2019 Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle winner, Paisley Park and an interview with trainer, Emma Lavelle here.

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