Sizing Tennessee leads home Tizzard 1-2 in £250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Trophy

Day two of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury Racecourse took place on Saturday, December 1, with the feature £250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Trophy taking centre-stage.

The Ladbrokes Trophy saw Sizing Tennessee gain an impressive victory over Elegant Escape as trainer Colin Tizzard recorded a memorable first and second in Britain’s second-richest handicap chase.

Tom Scudamore and Colin Tizzard win the 2018 Ladbrokes Trophy

Ladbrokes Trophy Day pulled in 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 in attendance.

Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury Racecourse said: “It is encouraging to see solid crowds across the two days. Ladbrokes Trophy Day was slightly down on last year, which we expected given the weather forecast at the start of this week, but we hope our customers have been given a vastly improved experience across the site, with the majority of the redevelopment now complete. There has been a great atmosphere, fantastic racing and with Ladbrokes we will look forward to next year.

Below is a race-by-race account of day two of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. The ground was: Hurdle Course: Soft; Chase Course: Soft, Good to Soft in places

3.00pm £250,000 Ladbrokes Trophy (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 3m 1f 214y

The Colin Tizzard-trained Sizing Tennessee (12/1) produced a scintillating performance to capture the feature £250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Trophy in which there were 12 runners.

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. West Approach (Adam Wedge, 25/1), who came fifth, also represented Tizzard.


Sizing Tennessee clears the last on the way to winning the 2018 Ladbrokes Trophy

Reflecting on his second Ladbrokes Trophy victory following on from Native River in 2016, Tizzard said: “That was 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.”

“Elegant Escape ran on really well to finish second and I was watching him thinking that he wasn’t going to catch Sizing Tennessee. He has run a real solid race and he is also in the Welsh National.

“West Approach was up there throughout the race and has also run very well in fifth.”

Joe Tizzard, an assistant trainer to his father Colin, added: “Sizing Tennessee is clearly improving. That was a serious performance today. They went an end-to-end gallop and that played to his strengths.

“Sizing Tennessee stays very well and that is what he showed today.

“I think he is going to be more of a Welsh National horse as he looks to be a horse who is all about stamina and that stamina showed today.

“He also has the ability to win over two and a half miles, so he is versatile. He also performs on all sorts of ground.”

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. It’s one is for him.

“Sizing Tennessee has always been a good horse – I have said that all along and I really fancied him. I told Dave Roberts (agent) that this was the one I wanted to ride if I was given the choice.

“His novice chase form from last season is very good. If you fancied Ms Parfois, you had to fancy this fellow because of how they ran at Cheltenham. We were meeting them all on better terms as well – his Fontwell run had turned out well as the second horse had come out and won twice since.

“Even though he is 10, I felt that he was slightly under the radar. I didn’t expect to win quite that well but a win is a win. He didn’t quite keep galloping over four miles (when third in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March), but three and a quarter miles around here is a different ball game and I was always very happy with him. It was a great thrill.

“He was a bit awkward at one or two fences but he lands running, which is all that matters. It was a really good performance and Colin is a master of these staying chasers. He has won that in the stamp of a good horse. You don’t get too many winners of this race winning that well.

“It is one of the finest chases in the country and it means an awful lot. Dan Fortt won it in 1993 on Cogent and he helped me an awful lot today, even though I have ridden in the race plenty of times. From a long way out, Sizing Tennessee was going nicely and it was just up to me not to mess it up. 

“I have a good association with the Tizzards. I am very lucky with the people that I ride for – David Pipe has been so good to me over the years and I have had a lot of success with Colin. Long may it continue.”

Sizing Tennessee, a second season novice, is owned by Ann & Alan Potts Limited.

Rest of the card

12.10pm £25,000 Ladbrokes Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) 2m 69y

The 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 in the opening race on day two of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury, 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 gamely after the last to fend off Henderson’s charge and score decisively by three and a quarter lengths.

Posh Trish clears the last under Harry Cobden

Somerset handler Nicholls said: “Posh Trish did it nicely. The soft ground was very important to her today.

“The ground was not soft enough for her at Newbury last time and she also got 3lb from Lust For Glory this time around.

“She is such a strong galloper. We will pick our way with her, but she could be one for the Cheltenham Festival.

“I wouldn’t be averse to running in the Betway Challow Hurdle at Newbury on December 29, but there is also a good mares’ race at Taunton on December 30 which is worth quite a lot of money.

“She does relish soft ground. We will try and place her in the right race, but we don’t have any real targets for her.

“Posh Trish will get further in time, but in today’s race, she basically makes it a staying race by going out in front.

“She loves the ground and she will go chasing next year. There are so many good mares race over hurdles that you do not need to rush to go chasing.

“She is a big, scopey mare and will jump a fence in time. She settles nicely in front these days and keeps galloping. Harry Cobden was able to save a bit and quicken away after the last.”

Cobden said: “Posh Trish is one-paced but keeps galloping really well – she is a lovely mare. I was delighted that we got eight millimetres of rain here last night as Lust For Glory had a bit more toe than us the last day and the ground was a little bit too quick for Posh Trish. We were 8lb better off at the weights as well.

“She is a lovely mare and is improving all the time. She has won a point-to-point already and will definitely jump fences in the future.

“I won a bumper on her around Cheltenham on heavy ground and she just gallops her rivals into the ground. She will be even better next year.”

12.45pm £40,000 Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m 7f 86y

The Nicky Henderson-trained Santini (11/8 favourite) made the perfect start to life over fences with a taking victory in the £40,000 G2 Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase.

Ridden by Nico de Boinville, the six-year-old son of Milan jumped well throughout and travelled stylishly into contention approaching the final fence.

Santini delivered a neat leap at the last and ran on strongly to master Rocky’s Treasure (Kim Bailey/David Bass, 17/2) to win going away at the line by four lengths.

Britain’s champion Jump trainer was delighted with Santini’s performance and earmarked the G1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day as a potential target for the gelding.

A G1 winner over hurdles last term, Santini is a 4/1 shot with Ladbrokes for the G1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Santini and Rocky’s Treasure are together at the last

Henderson said: “We’re very pleased with Santini. I was nervous about the ground. He is a beautiful, big horse who is quite laid back with life at home.

“We only schooled Santini on grass on Thursday, which is the first time that we have managed to get on it all year, and it just flicked a switch with him. I wasn’t concerned about his jumping, but his fitness as you can’t give him enough work.

“I thought it was a great performance and I’m thrilled with him. Nico gave him a lovely ride, letting him find his feet. He made a couple of little mistakes, but Nico let him think about the job in hand – Santini has only had three schools. He jumped a couple of fences big, but he is still learning and will come on any amount.

“Santini is very big – he’s not very big, he’s enormous – and I was impressed with what I could see through the murk. I thought that ground would find him out big time, especially first time out. He is a gross horse, who is very lazy at home, but fences wake him up.

“You need a Range Rover, not a Ferrari in this ground and I was slightly worried about the ground and whether he was fit enough, so you have to be very pleased with him.

“He is a G1 hurdler and he has his life in front of him. I think the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton is the natural next step for him. There are very few races he can run in between now and then anyway.”

1.20pm £40,000 Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase 2m 6f 93y

Kapcorse ran out the 12/1 winner of the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase for Nicholls and Bryony Frost.

The five-year-old son of Kapgarde produced a fine leap at the last and ran on strongly in the closing stages for a convincing 10-length victory, providing Frost with her first winner since losing her claim. Nicholls also saddled Brelan D’As (Lorcan Williams, 15/2), who finished second. Both are owned by J P McManus.

Nicholls, recording a near 30/1 double following Posh Trish’s victory in the opening Ladbrokes Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, reported: “Kapcorse won well. He is improving with every run and is still quite weak.

“He has probably won by too far in the end for a young horse, but he is just a nice horse for the future.

“With a horse like Kapcorse, we will look after him and take our time with him. He is only a five-year-old and he is a big horse – he just wants minding.

“I said to Bryony to drop him out and take your time with him and in the end he has tanked into contention.

“I haven’t got any plans for him. He wouldn’t be ready for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. None of us are in any rush with him.”

1.50pm £40,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 118y

Prior to Buveur D’Air romping to victory in the G1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle up at Newcastle, Seven Barrows maestro Nicky Henderson saw Champ (Aidan Coleman, 9/2 joint-favourite) gained his third win in as many starts in the £40,000 Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle.

The six-year-old son of King’s Theatre, owned by J P McManus, made most of the running and kept on relentlessly in the closing stages to score by four and a half-lengths from Le Musee (Nigel Hawke/David Noonan, 10/1) in second, with a further two and three-quarter lengths back to Speedo Boy (Ian Williams, Tom O’Brien, 9/2 joint-favourite).

Britain’s champion Jump trainer Henderson was also recording a 12/1 double at Newbury following Santini’s win in the Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase.

Henderson said: “That wasn’t the plan at all to lead with Champ, but there was nothing else to do.

“He was travelling very well, a little bit of a gap appeared, a horse made a mistake in front and, the next thing, he has winged a hurdle and landed in front. Aidan said there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.

“The beauty of him is that he is still a novice. The handicapper is going to have his say but, to be fair, we will bring him back as a novice for the rest of the season and then go chasing next year.

“A P (McCoy) is here and you can guess why this horse is named Champ. He is a beautifully-bred horse and has all attributes you could look for. He got landed with this name and has suddenly started to look as though he might live up to it.

“I half-thought that we would be thinking about the Betway Challow Hurdle. He goes in soft ground, stays two and a half, and we might as well come back and do that. It was soft enough today and he will improve for the run – he doesn’t show you anything like that at home.

“It never crossed my mind that he would pick the bridle up like that. They fool you, but it is always a pleasant surprise when it is like that. I wasn’t treating him as a summer horse but he got going late, so it forced us to go that route.

“He was babyish to start with and we thought that the name looked a bit ambitious. It looked a bit more promising today.”

2.25pm £50,000 Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle (Listed) 2m 69y

Top-weight Global Citizen (5/1) produced a power-packed performance to land the £50,000 Listed Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle under David Bass for Gloucestershire trainer Ben Pauling.

The six-year-old son of Alkaadhem made all and responded willingly to Bass’ urgings in the closing stages to fend off the persistent challenge of Lisp (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 8/1) by a half a lengthwith a neckback to third Mont Des Avaloirs (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden, 9/2) in third.

Global Citizen was an impressive winner of the G2 Dovecot Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton Park in February and finished second on his seasonal debut in a Listed event at Ascot in November.

Global Citizen jumps the last

Pauling commented: “Everything was against Global Citizen today. We missed a week with a bit of a bang, but his enthusiasm is endless. He was brave at the end because this ground is far too soft for him. 

“I think he will probably go for the Christmas Hurdle now because I know there is so much improvement to come from that. He has shown there that he can handle the soft but it is not what he wants – he is too free and too good a mover for it.

“He was far too keen and far too fresh at Ascot. He needs a run to get fit but I am utterly thrilled with him today. The Megsons are big supporters of mine and it means a lot.”

Bass said: “With a horse like Global Citizen, he is so exuberant, and I thought that he went very quick over the first two furlongs but then, thankfully, he relaxed.

“You are always worried that something is going to come and do you because you have done a bit too much, but he is so quick with his hurdling.

“Ben told me before he ran at Ascot that this horse has a massive engine. He thought that there was a big handicap in him and hopefully he can go on to be even better than that. I thought he handled the ground OK, although he will be better on better ground.

“He is a keen-going horse and, when he gets into a rhythm in front, he does relax a bit better. I think Ben might step him up in class now and I wouldn’t write him off.”

Pauling also confirmed that talented hurdler Barters Hill, winner of the 2015 G1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle, has been retired after he was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle this afternoon.

3.35pm £40,000 Ladbrokes In Memory Of Tara Von Ihering Handicap Chase 2m 92y

Lady Buttons (Phil Kirby/Adam Nicol, 5/2 favourite) was a smooth winner of the concluding two-mile £40,000 Ladbrokes In Memory Of Tara Von Ihering Handicap Chase.

Always travelling well, the eight-year-old daughter of Beneficial cruised into the lead in the home straight and, following a fine leap at the last, gained a commanding two and a quarter-length victory under hands and heels over the persistent Shear Rock (Kerry Lee/Jamie Moore, 20/1) in second.

Winning trainer Phil Kirby, who trains near Richmond, in North Yorkshire, said: “Lady Buttons is very, very good and keeps upping it every time. I am hoping the better the race, the better she will be – she just needs a lead into her race for a bit longer.

“Adam said she jumped and travelled so well that she took him there and I hope that, in a really good race, they might be able to carry into it for a bit longer.
“She was always very good, but had a problem as a young horse and we missed nearly 18 months. The owners have given me as much time as it takes to get her back and she is probably coming back to what she was.

“She goes on anything and I have only minded her on fast ground because of her legs from the old days. She is that quick that faster ground maybe helps her to get into the race further down the line but she goes on anything and loved that ground today.

“I was up feeding the horses at 5.00am and left the yard driving the horsebox a hour later. It will be a shorter trip back home and we will hopefully return to Wetherby for the Castleford Chase (December 27) now.”