Friday 30 November is the first day of the Ladbrokes Winter Festival at Newbury and the four races being shown by ITV are a tasty appetiser for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Trophy. We’ve a free tip for all four of Friday’s televised races from Newbury, which are the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase, the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase, the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle, and the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle.
The Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase (registered as the Berkshire Novices’ Chase) is run over 2 miles 3 furlongs and 187 yards and, as is the norm, has only attracted a small-field. Indeed, only four horses are set to go to post for the 2018 renewal. However, this race has been won by some big names over the last few years, such as Bobs Worth, Dynaste, Coneygree, Clan Des Obeaux, and Willoughby Court, so all four runners are probably held in high-regard.
La Bague Au Roi, Lostintransalation, and Talkischeap have already clashed at Newbury this season over two furlongs further, with La Bague Au Roi coming out on tip. She again gets seven pounds from the boys and, after travelling like the best horse in that race, she should be good enough to get her head in front again over this shorter trip, especially with Richard Johnson again in the saddle (four wins from five rides.)
Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase Free Tip: La Bague Au Roi @ 2.50 Ladbrokes, Betfair, PaddyPower
Willoughby Court will have to defy a higher rating and a bigger weight than any of the previous six winners of the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase but he has the potential to rank much higher than his current mark of 151. His win over hurdles at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival certainly suggested that, as did his win over fences over course and distance last year when he had the 160+ rated hurdler Yanworth back in second.
A bold front-runner when on song, he could simply have too much class for today’s opposition if somewhere near his best after a spell on the side-lines.
Ladbrokes Handicap Chase Free Tip: Willoughby Court @ 3.00 Widely Available
Wholestone is a model of consistency who rarely runs a bad race, and he finished ahead of his main market rival Sam Spinner at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals last season. However, the one really poor run of his life came in this race last year, and it could be worth taking a chance that he doesn’t like Newbury. If that’s the case, this race could be tailormade for Sam Spinner who, at the age of six, could also still have lots of improvement to come. He was at his best at around this time last year and he might just get an easy lead out in front as well.
Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle Free Tip: Sam Spinner @ 3.75 William Hill, Betvictor, Betfred, Boylesports
Only one of the last eight winners of the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle has been rated higher than 133, so the unexposed Dragon D’Estruval looks a likely sort off a mark of 132. Connections do well with the horses they export from France and he’s in the could be anything bracket after a facile win in a novice hurdle on his English debut. Connections must think he’s well-handicapped to opt for the handicap route so soon, which looks a tip in itself at a meeting where Nicky Henderson likes to run some useful types.
Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle Free Tip: Dragon D’Estruval @ 4.00 William Hill, Boylesports
Odds Correct at Time of Publication