The last two runnings of this important contest have been abandoned due to bad weather so let’s hope that Saturday’s renewal gets the go-ahead. Run over 2M the field looks to contain some horses who have lofty pretentions this season and all of the last eight winners have been aged between five and seven with only one of them having had more than ten runs over hurdles – so it looks like young and upcoming horses are very much the ones to look out for. In fact horses that are aged eight and over barely feature in the results – just two horses from that age group have featured in the frame from25 runners in the last eight renewals. Taking a look at the other end of the age scale, four-year-olds have also struggled, although they have has their share of placings, they haven’t claimed an outright victory and just seem to struggle in this competitive race given their experience.
As with many valuable handicaps that are run throughout the season it is difficult to emerge victorious off the back of a bad run or below-par performance. Seven of those last eight winners of The Ladbroke have recorded a 1-2-3 finish last time out and the only stable that has appeared capable of bucking that trend is that of the Pipes who managed to win with Tamarinbleuon his seasonal debut off a long absence.
With regard to weight carried there seems to be a strong correlation between the handicap marks carried in this race and the winners, all bar the most recent winner Sentry Duty were rated between 122 and 136 and those looking at the best horse racing betting odds online should remember this. Surprisingly from a yard that has done well in the race there is no entry from the Pipe barn this time, but Nicky Henderson who has won three of the last seven runnings and the last two in succession has Gibb River and Rajdhani Express engaged and given his fine record in the race both of those two should be noted. It’s always interesting when the Irish raiders travel over but this is one race that they have not done well in accumulating just two placings from15 runners over the past eight years that the race has been run.
It looks crucial to side with an improving horse in this contest and although favourite Prospect Wells would fit that bill favourites do have a poor record in this, with only Jack The Giant (2007) being successful recently. With that thought in mind – Henderson’s Gibb River could prove the answer to this contest as he fits most of the criterion for winners and his yard had a big race treble last weekend to show that they are in-form.