Micro-Angles – Weekend Big Race Preview & Newbury Stats

Newbury – Ladbrokes Trophy Chase – 3m 2f

Saturday’s biggest race and arguably the second best handicap chase of the season behind the Grand National is the race formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup.

Last years renewal was won by the Colin Tizzard trained Native River who was sent off at odds of 7/2. Four of the last five winners have gone off at odds 8/1 & under.

Recent previous winners of the race include future Gold Cup winners Denman & Bobs Worth as well Grand National Winner Many Clouds.

Here are some key trends from the last 9 runnings of the race and the stats consist of 9 winners from 163 runners 34 placed:

Age: 6 & 7-year-olds – 6 winners from 76 runners 17 placed
• Official Rating: 150+ – 7 winners from 78 runners 20 placed
• Weight: 11-00+ – 7 winners from 53 runners 16 placed
• Runs 90 Days: 0 to 1 – 9 winners 140 runners 30 placed
• Odds SP: 10/1 & Under – 7 winners from 50 runners 17 placed
• Wins in Class or Higher: 1+ – 9 winners from 107 Runners 28 placed
• Last Time Out Placing: 1st, 2nd or 3rd – 6 winners from 85 runners 21 placed

You need to be looking at horses that are carrying 11-00 +, that is in the first five in the betting and that have won a Graded or listed race. Horses aged six and seven are favoured as are horses that have had a top-three finish on their last start.

Hopefully, the above stats will help you to shortlist contenders the race.

Verdict: Trainer Nicky Henderson has had two winners in the race in the past ten years and one of his intended runners Whisper ticks plenty of the trends boxes although horses aged 9-year-old+ are

1 winner from 57 runners

Strike Rate 2%

SP Loss -53.25

A/E 0.31

12 placed

Place Strike Rate 21%

The Noel Meade trained A Genie in A Bottle is a progressive 6-year-old who will like soft ground but horses that have had 2+ races in the last 90 days are 0 wins from 23 runners 4 placed 17%.

Singlefarmpayment has been trained for the race and he is another who ticks plenty of boxes but horses that haven’t won a listed race or higher are 0 wins from 41 runners 5 placed 12% which is a slight concern,  does he have the class to win this.

Royal Vacation bids to give Colin Tizzard a second winner in the race and has to be an each way contender.

Likewise, although Carole’s Destrier is a 9-year-old, he was second in this race last year on his seasonal reappearance and is only 6lb higher but he looks one for the places rather than a win contender. If former Gold Cup winner Coneygree was to run he would have to be respected even under top weight of 11-12.

The Willie Mullins trained Total Recall has been all the rage ante-post for the race since his comprehensive win in the Munster National at Limerick back in October but the handicapper has put him up 18lb for that win. I am not sure he has the class to win this and his trainer’s record in handicap chases this side of the Irish Sea is

1 win from 90 runners

Strike Rate 1%

SP Loss -87

A/E 0.13

Chi 6.21

Exp/Wins 7.56

14 placed

Place Strike Rate 16%

in the past 10 years and the win came in a four-runner race at Perth. He might have improved beyond recognition since joining the trainer and could be a future Gold Cup winner but at 5/1 he offers no value whatsoever.

For me, the one horse that seems to tick the boxes is the Harry Fry trained American who has an almost perfect profile for a Hennessey winner. Granted he has only had three starts over fences, winning all three of them and he’s only had six career starts in total. He is 4 wins from 4 runs when soft is the going description and has been aimed at this race by his trainer. The expected big field is an unknown for the 7-year-old but he jumps solidly and Newbury should suit his galloping style of running. As long as their cut in the ground he looks sure to go well and will definitely be one of my bets in the race.

Selection – American

Philip Hobbs has a good record at Newbury throughout the jumps season and this meeting is no exception. Since 2012 he has had

7 winners from 27 runners

Strike Rate 26%

SP Profit +38.25

A/E 1.83

Chi 3.08

Exp/Wins 3.82 (profit to BSP +65.33)

12 placed

Place Strike Rate 44%

in handicaps at this fixture.

Those are great stats without any filtering but all seven of those winners shared the following:

Runs 90 Days: 0 to 1
• Wins At Distance: 0

7 winners from 16 runners

Strike rate 44%

SP Profit +49.29

A/E 3.13

Chi 11.76

Exp/Wins 2.24 (profit to BSP +76.33)

7 placed

Place Strike Rate 44%

Until next time, be lucky.


John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.
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