Trainer Jonjo O’Neill ‘would love to pull it off again’ with chaser who will represent the late owner Trevor Hemmings in the Newbury showpiece


Cloth Cap is firmly on target to attempt to claim back-to-back victories in the £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on November 27 after he headed a list of 42 entries for the historic prize.


His trainer Jonjo O’Neill said, “We would love to pull it off again,” and deliver a poignant success for the family of the late Trevor Hemmings, the Ladbrokes Trophy’s winning-most owner who passed away earlier this month.

Hemmings won the race with Trabolgan in 2005, Many Clouds in 2015 and Cloth Cap last year and had been actively involved in planning Cloth Cap’s campaign for 2021-22 season up to his death.

Cloth Cap and the Venetia Williams-trained Cloudy Dream make up the Hemmings entries in a list which also features a high quality representation from Ireland.


Ireland’s champion jumps trainer Mullins, victorious with Total Recall in 2017, has entered recent J T McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National winner Ontheropes in a three-strong team, completed by Annamix and Brahma Bull, while Henry de Bromhead has nominated Chris’s Dream and Eklat De Rire.


Cheltenham Gold Cup sixth Royale Pagaille has also been entered by Williams while Lostintranslation is part of two-time winner Colin Tizzard’s team of six, completed by Copperhead, Fiddlerontheroof, Mister Malarkey, Slate House and The Big Breakaway.


The first three from a contentious finish to the Bet365 Gold Cup, Potterman, Kitty’s Light and Enrilo, who was demoted from first place, are also entered. Enrilo, with Lalor and Next Destination, make up a three-strong entry from champion trainer Paul Nicholls, who has won the race three times as a trainer.


There have been three two-time winners of the Ladbrokes Trophy, Mandarin (1957 & 1961), Arkle (1964 & 1965) and Denman (2007 and 2009), but only Arkle won it in successive seasons.

Cloth Cap made all the running to beat Aye Right by ten lengths at Newbury last year off bottom weight of 10st. In winning the race for a third time jockey Tom Scudamore joined Willie Robinson as the Ladbrokes Trophy’s most successful rider.

Now rated 20lb higher, Cloth Cap made a satisfactory return to action by finishing fourth at Cheltenham on Saturday in the same race in which he had finished third 12 months earlier.


“If I run anything in the Ladbrokes Trophy, I always try and get them a run first,” said O’Neill. “It’s a pretty hard race early in the season and in my opinion they need a nice rest after that. Lots of good horses have won it.

“I don’t think we will have 10st this year unfortunately but it’s a good race to win. It’s great prize-money. It’s probably the long distance race of the early part of the season. We would love to pull it off again. It would be great for the Hemmings family. It is the aim, so we will try.”


He continued: “He was a very well handicapped horse last year and the big problem then was we were worried that he wasn’t going to get into the Ladbrokes Trophy. He scraped in at the bottom. He did everything well on the day and Tom got on great with him so it all worked out really well.

“Obviously he is not as well handicapped this year but he ran a nice race at Cheltenham. We were very pleased with him and hopefully we can keep him like that and he will be able to handle the weight.

“He’s not a big horse, but I’ve had plenty of horses like that. Sunnyhillboy was only a handy little horse and only just got beat in the National, so I am not so worried about that.”


Together with racing manager Mick Meagher, O’Neill would regularly liaise with Hemmings who was one of jump racing’s staunchest supporters.

O’Neill said his loss was keenly felt. “Trevor was very important. People like him are the backbone of jump racing. They love it, they are passionate about it. It’s a shame to be losing him.

“He loved the Ladbrokes Trophy. He nearly always tried to have a runner in it. Long distance chases were his passion. 

“This was the plan when the horse came back, to go down the same route as last season.”


Clerk of the Course, Keith Ottesen, commented, “The Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the highlights of our National Hunt season at Newbury and it is fantastic to see such a high quality group of entries. It’s particularly exciting to see good Irish entries from Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead, along with some top-class horses from this side of the Irish Sea. We can’t wait to see Cloth Cap back at Newbury to defend his title, and this time with a large crowd to cheer him home!”


Nicola McGeady, Head of PR at Ladbrokes said, “The Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the most historic jump 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 last year’s winner Cloth Cap one of the leading fancies for the race.”


Full Ladbrokes Betting

Next Destination 8
Enrilo 8
Vinndication 12
Cloth Cap 12
Fiddlerontheroof 12
Lieutenant Rocco 12
Remastered 12
Demachine 12
Ontheropes 12
Aye Right 14
Kitty’s Light 14
Royale Pagaille 16
Protektorat 16
Lalor 16
Shan Blue 16
The Big Breakaway 16
Silver Hallmark 16
Eklat de Rire 16
The Jam Man 20
Brave Eagle 20
The Hollow Ginge 20
Lostintranslation 25
Al Dancer 25
Potterman 25
Copperhead 25
Canelo 25
Full Back 25
One More Fleurie 25
Annamix 25
Chris’s Dream 25
Doctor Duffy 25
Brahma Bull 25
The Big Bite 33
Slate House 33
Cloudy Glen 33
Golan Fortune 33
Danny Whizzbang 33
Mister Malarky 40
Fortescue 40
Glen Forsa 50
Eclair Surf 50
Mac Tottie 50


To view the full video of Jonjo O’Neill and Cloth Cap, please follow this link:

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Royale Pagaille (FR) 7 Mrs S. Ricci Venetia Williams 
Lostintranslation (IRE) 9 Taylor & O’Dwyer Colin Tizzard 
Vinndication (IRE) 8 Moremoneythan Kim Bailey 
Protektorat (FR) 6 Sir A Ferguson G Mason J Hales & L Hales Dan Skelton 
Cloth Cap (IRE) 9 Exors of the late Mr Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O’Neill 
Next Destination (IRE) 9 Mr Malcolm C. Denmark Paul Nicholls 
Al Dancer (FR) 8 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Sam Thomas 
Aye Right (IRE) 8 Geoff and Elspeth Adam Harriet Graham 
Mister Malarky (GB) 8 Wendy & Malcolm Hezel Colin Tizzard 
The Jam Man (IRE) 8 Ronan M. P. McNally Ronan M. P. McNally 
Brave Eagle (IRE) 9 Mr Robert Kirkland Nicky Henderson 
Lalor (GER) 9 Mr D. G. Staddon Paul Nicholls 
Kitty’s Light (GB) 5 R J Bedford & All Stars Sports Racing Christian Williams 
Potterman (GB) 8 James & Jean Potter Ltd Alan King 
Fiddlerontheroof (IRE) 7 Taylor, Burley & O’Dwyer Colin Tizzard 
Shan Blue (IRE) 7 Mr Colm Donlon Dan Skelton 
The Big Breakaway (IRE) 6 Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas, John Romans Colin Tizzard 
Copperhead (GB) 7 Mrs G. C. Pritchard Colin Tizzard 
Canelo (IRE) 8 Mr John P. McManus Alan King 
The Big Bite (IRE) 8 Mr N T Griffith & H M Haddock Henry Oliver 
Enrilo (FR) 7 Martin Broughton & Friends 4 Paul Nicholls 
Lieutenant Rocco (IRE) 6 Sherborne Utilities Ltd Ralph Smith 
Remastered (GB) 8 Brocade Racing David Pipe 
Slate House (IRE) 9 Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas, John Romans Colin Tizzard 
Silver Hallmark (GB) 7 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Fergal O’Brien 
Demachine (IRE) 7 West Coast Haulage Limited Kerry Lee 
The Hollow Ginge (IRE) 8 The Ginge Army Nigel Twiston-Davies 
Cloudy Glen (IRE) 8 Exors of the late Mr Trevor Hemmings Venetia Williams 
Golan Fortune (IRE) 9 Phil and Xia Middleton Phil Middleton 
Fortescue (GB) 7 Mr T. F. F. Nixon Henry Daly 
Full Back (FR) 6 Mr Ashley Head Gary Moore 
One More Fleurie (IRE) 7 Mr K. McKenna Ian Williams 
Danny Whizzbang (IRE) 8 M. F. Harris Milton Harris 
Glen Forsa (IRE) 9 Merriebelle Irish Farm Limited Charlie Longsdon 
Eclair Surf (FR) 7 Dominic Burke & Tim Syder Emma Lavelle 
Mac Tottie (GB) 8 Steve & Jackie Fleetham Peter Bowen 
Annamix (FR) 8 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins 
Chris’s Dream (IRE) 9 Robcour Henry de Bromhead 
Ontheropes (IRE) 7 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins 
Doctor Duffy (IRE) 8 Relic Pride Partnership Charles Byrnes 
Brahma Bull (IRE) 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins 
Eklat de Rire (FR) 7 Mr P. Davies Henry de Bromhead