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Ladbrokes Trophy

The Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup (which in turn is not to be confused with the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup) is a big steeplechase feature of the National Hunt season.

This is hosted annually at Newbury late into the year, usually in late November or early December.

Ladbrokes Trophy History

The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup was the former moniker that this race went by. The first running of the famous steeplechase happened in 1957 and it wasn’t at Newbury, it was held at Cheltenham.

Interestingly, it was a horse owned by the race sponsors Hennessy who actually won that first-ever edition of the race. The horse was Mandarin and he went on to win it for a second time a few years later.

The sponsorship that Hennessy put into the race lasted a total of 60 years, setting a new record for the longest-running sponsorship of a British horse race. The partnership came to an end in 2016 which was on the occasion of the 60th edition of the race.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes then took on the sponsorship of the race and that is why today punters have Ladbrokes Trophy betting to look forward to.

About the race

The Ladbrokes Gold Cup is a Grade 3 fixture on the calendar. Sometime in late November or early December, it is hosted at Newbury. The trip for those involved is 3m 1f 214y. Along the way, there are 21 fences for the competitors to take on.

It is a handicap race on the turf on a left-handed track. The Ladbrokes Gold Cup is open to horses of at least four years of age,

The Ladbrokes Gold Cup is seen as something of a trial test as well for the bigger, more prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup the following year.

In the history of the race when it was sponsored by Hennesey up to 2016, eight horses had gone on after winning the Ladbrokes Gold Cup to also claim the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Famous Winners

We will start here with some fairly recent history and revisit Native River’s win in 2016. That was a notable success for the six-year-old, trained by Colin Tizzard.

The following year he went on to also win the Grand National, creating history by becoming the first horse to win the Ladbrokes Gold Cup and the Grand National.

Arkle was the first horse to win the race in back to back years when he scored in 1964 and 1965. That set him apart from the inaugural winner Mandarin who had scored for a second time four years after his initial success.

The number of horses which have won the race on more than one occasion are few and far between. The first horse to achieve that feat after Arkle was the brilliant Denman.

He got his first win in the race in 2007 and then followed it up with another two years later for trainer Paul Nicholls.

The first winner of the race after the sponsorship by Hennessey had come to an end was Total Recall in 2017.

Read more racing news and tips in our Horse Racing section

2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase Review

De Rasher Counter struck from a 12/1 SP to win the 2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase. There was a field of 24 starting the race and of those, seven failed to make it to the finish including the 13/2 favourite West Approach who unseated jockey Robbie Power.

20-year-old jockey Ben Jones was in the saddle for the Emma Lavelle-trained chaser De Rasher Counter. Things were fairly tight in the race making the home turn. Jones had De Rasher Counter in front but The Conditional and Elegant Escape was trying to put on the pressure.

However, Jones held them off, his charge having just enough left in the tank to hold on to win by a length and a half in the contest. It was a wonderfully bold ride from Ben Jones after it had looked for all the world that he had taken De Rasher Counter to the front a little too early.

De Rasher Counter was just the second horse in eight years to have won the race from under 11 stone. It was The Conditional who took second place in the race at 20/1 while Elegant Escape, who had been the 2018 runner up in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase came home third just half a length back of The Conditional.

2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase

The 2020 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase is set to take place on Saturday, 28th November. The Conditional would be likely to reappear in the Ladbrokes Trophy after his second-place effort in 2019.

Trainer David Bridgewater saw The Conditional win the Ultimate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 2020 in late March. That was before deciding that was enough for the season for him.

Even before the outbreak of the Cornovious happened, it was decided that The Conditional was going on a break.

Will De Rasher Counter be back and ready for a title defence? Other familiar faces who could rejoin the action include Elegant Escape, Yorkhill and West Approach.