Cheltenham Races

Longshot Ted: I'm on Tizzard's charge at Newbury

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Mister Malarky was a game winner at Newbury back in January.
Mister Malarky was a game winner at Newbury back in January.

In the third edition of his new weekly column, Ed Quigley picks out his best bet in Saturday's big race at Newbury, the Ladbrokes Trophy, a handicap which has a fine record of producing top-class staying chasers...

It's the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday, and this year's renewal has a fairly wide-open feel to it. In previous years we have been spoilt with the race often containing a splattering of Grade 1/RSA Chase winners, but this time around the second season chaser with the absolute 'X-Factor', on the surface, would not appear to be there at present. That being said, it still makes for an intriguing encounter and looks as you would expect, an ultra-competitive betting heat. 

Ok Corral heads the market, and the Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old, who won his first two starts over fences, arrives into this contest having not been seen since being pulled-up in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Henderson explained the poor run by saying that the gelding 'was knocked sideways' by the Flu jab a month before his big race at Prestbury Park. Undoubtedly he is still unexposed over fences, but with a lack of a recent run he has plenty of questions to answer for a horse around 6/1, and the value looks to have vanished. Cabaret Queen commands plenty of respect on the back of an emphatic success in the Munster National at Limerick last time out, but the Willie Mullins-trained mare is in much deeper waters here. She has to prove her first win in 16 months wasn't a fluke, but is versatile in regards to ground-requirements and looks capable of giving a good account of herself despite the hike in grade.

Others to note include another Seven Barrows representative in the shape of On The Blind Side, who looks to be finally starting to get his act together over fences, Galway Plate winner Borice, who is looking to complete a four-timer, and Dingo Dollar, who was third in this 12 months ago off a mark of 148, and runs this time off 2 lb lower. A recent spin over hurdles at this venue for the Alan King representative should have primed for another big run here. Top weight Elegant Escape was runner-up last year, and should go well once again. However, from a 5 lb higher mark of 160, it will take a phenomenal effort to defy that rating from the Colin Tizzard runner.

Despite his underwhelming performance when well beaten at Ascot last time out, it's another of the Tizzard string that interests me, and MISTER MALARKY still has the scope to progress off his current mark, and looks tailor-made for the demands of this assignment. At Ascot, he was travelling nicely just off the pace until making a mess of the 10th fence that day, which appeared to knock all the confidence out of him in the aftermath as he was beaten 83 lengths. Clearly, he cannot make an error like that here, but his jumping was one his assets last season, and so I am prepared to forgive that uncharacteristic blunder. Regardless of the result, the race should have stripped him spot-on for this, and Tizzard exclaimed with a wry smile 'at least the handicapper can't put him up for that effort!'. He enjoys Newbury, as he demonstrated when an emphatic winner at the track back in January and can bounce back to winning ways here.

Advice:

Ladbrokes Trophy, Newbury, Saturday 30th November 2019 - Mister Malarky, 1pt e/w at 10/1 (generally)

Tip

15:00 Newbury
Mister Malarky silk

Mister Malarky

lost

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