Elegant Escape and Thomas Patrick clash again as 13 run in the £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy, Saturday’s highlight of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury

Elegant Escape and Thomas Patrick are among 13 runners going for glory in the £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy (3.00pm) at Newbury this Saturday, December 1, day two of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival.
They have already met this season in the Listed Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown Park on November 11, with Elegant Escape (Colin Tizzard/Harry Cobden, 11st 10lb including a 4lb penalty) prevailing by half a length from Thomas Patrick (Tom Lacey/Richard Johnson, 11st 3lb). The duo share 4/1 favouritism with Ladbrokes.
Top-weight and G1 winner Black Corton (Paul Nicholls/Bryony Frost, 11st 12lb, 12/1 with Ladbrokes) has the chance the emulate Denman, who was the last top-weight to triumph in 2009.
Elegant Escape’s trainer Colin Tizzard, who won this race with subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Native River in 2016, also saddles G2 National Hunt Chase third Sizing Tennessee (Tom Scudamore, 11st 3lb, 14/1) and West Approach(Adam Wedge, 10st 11lb, 33/1).
G1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase second Ms Parfois (Anthony Honeyball/Aidan Coleman, 11st 1lb, 5/1) is aiming to become just the second mare after Kerstin in 1959 to win the Ladbrokes Trophy, Britain’s richest handicap chase outside of the Grand National at Aintree.
Trainer Alan King and jockey Wayne Hutchinson combined to win the Ladbrokes Trophy in 2015 with Smad Place, and the pair team up again with Dingo Dollar (11st 3lb, 7/1). A winner over fences at Newbury last season, Dingo Dollar finished fourth in his prep race over hurdles at Newbury’s opening fixture earlier this month.
The Young Master (Neil Mulholland/Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (3), 10st 8lb including a 4lb penalty, 10/1) has been rejuvenated this season, winning both of his starts. He started the campaign with victory in a Chepstow handicap chase on October 13 and followed up in an amateur riders’ handicap at Cheltenham on November 16.
The nine-year-old is no stranger to success in high-quality handicap chases, having captured the Listed Silver Cup at Ascot in 2014 and the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in 2016.
Trainer Neil Mullholland, based near Bath, said today: “The Young Master has come out of Cheltenham really well.
“The Ladbrokes Trophy is a competitive race, but he has started the season well and obviously has a nice weight.
“He has been rated higher in the past and I don’t see any reason why he can’t get back up to that level. Hopefully, he can keep climbing back up the ladder.
“Ideally, we would not want to see too much more rain at Newbury. There is a bit of time between now and then, so we will see what happens.”
Nigel Twiston-Davies, successful with King’s Road in 2000, is represented by Flying Angel (Tom Bellamy, 10st 11lb, 25/1), a G1-winning novice over fences two seasons ago, and recent Ascot third Go Conquer (Jamie Moore, 11st 2lb, 25/1).
The line-up is completed by American (Harry Fry/Miss Aine O’Connor (5), 11st 9lb, 11/1), who was pulled up when sent off second favourite for the 2017 Ladbrokes Trophy and is ridden for the first time on Saturday by Aine O’Connor, Beware The Bear (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath, 11st 3lb, 16/1) and Allyson Monterg(Richard Hobson/James Bowen, 10st 13lb, 25/1).
Ladbrokes Trophy – Ladbrokes prices:  4/1 Elegant Escape, Thomas Patrick; 5/1 Ms Parfois; 7/1 Dingo Dollar; 10/1 The Young Master; 11/1 American; 12/1 Black Corton; 14/1 Sizing Tennessee; 16/1 Beware The Bear; 25/1 Go Conquer, Allysson Monterg, Flying Angel; 33/1 West Approach
Each Way 1/5 – 1-2-3-4
Kemboy (Willie Mullins IRE) was declared earlier today but has subsequently been declared a non-runner due to being unable to make the planned journey from Ireland because of weather conditions.
The Ladbrokes Winter Carnival gets underway tomorrow, Friday, November 30, with a seven-race programme running from 12. 10pm through to 3.35pm.
The highlights include the £50,000 G2 Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (3.00pm, eight runners) over three miles.
G1 winner Sam Spinner (Jedd O’Keeffe/Joe Colliver) and Wholestone (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Daryl Jacob), successful three times at G2 level, head the octet. Sam Spinner will be making his first appearance of the current campaign, while Wholestone was the impressive winner of a conditions hurdle at Aintree on November 10.
Anthony Bromley, Racing Manager to Wholestone’s owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, reported: “Wholestone came out of his latest run in good form and Nigel Twiston-Davies is very happy with him.
“He is pretty versatile ground-wise and you are pretty limited in the staying hurdling division as to the races you can run in
“This is the logical next step with him and we are looking forward to running.”
Also lining up are Unowhatimeanharry (Harry Fry/Barry Geraghty), winner of this race in 2016 and second last year, who was a staying-on third behind Wholestone at Aintree last time out.
Harry Fry is also represented by the lightly-raced mare Momella (Noel Fehily), who will be making her first start for the Dorset-based trainer having been third in G1 company when last seen at Aintree in April.
The second £50,000 contest on day one of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival is the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (2.25pm, seven runners) over just short of two and a half miles.
Heading the weights on 11st 12lb is Beggar’s Wishes (Peter Bowen/Sean Bowen), a progressive performer who has been successful on his latest three outings.
Gloucestershire trainer Ben Pauling is set to saddle Willoughby Court (Nico de Boinville, 11st 11lb), a G1 novices’ hurdle winner at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival and successful in the G2 Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase on this day last year. Tomorrow will be the seven-year-old’s first outing since undergoing wind surgery.
The £40,000 G2 Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase (1.50pm, four runners) offers an intriguing contest, headed by mare La Bague Au Roi (Warren Greatrex/Richard Johnson) who defeated Lostintranslation (Colin Tizzard/Robbie Power) and Talkischeap (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) on her chasing debut in the KKA-Highpoint Beginners’ Chase at Newbury’s opening raceday of the jump season on November 8.
Warren Greatrex commented: “I was delighted with La Bague Au Roi’s first performance over fences. She has come on from her first Newbury and it’s all systems go.
“The track really suits, she has a huge stride on her and we’ll see how the season goes, but she could maybe develop into a Ladbrokes Trophy contender next year.
“She jumped really well on her debut and hopefully she can improve again.”
Completing the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase line-up is Spiritofthegames (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton), a smart hurdler who was third in the G3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last season and successful on his chasing debut in a Listed contest at Chepstow last month.
Tomorrow’s card gets underway with the £10,4000 Ladbrokes ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (12.10pm, 2m 69y, 20 runners) and also includes the £20,400 Ladbrokes Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (12.45pm, 2m 92y, seven runners) and the £10,400 Ladbrokes Novices’ Hurdle (1.20pm, 2m 4f 118y, 12 runners). Action concludes with the £35,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm, 3m 52y, 12 runners).
The latest going at Newbury Racecourse is:
Hurdle Course: Soft, Good to Soft in places
Chase Course: Good to Soft, Soft in places.
There was 6.9 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 8.30am.
There is a chance of squally showers later today.
Tomorrow morning is predicted to be dry with the risk of showers later.
There is risk of showers or longer spells of rain on Saturday morning.