Antepost Angle: Matt Brocklebank's Ladbrokes Trophy preview and tips

Sizing Tennessee won well on his seasonal return
Sizing Tennessee won well on his seasonal return

Matt Brocklebank has a 33/1 selection for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in his latest antepost feature.


Recommended bets: Ladbrokes Trophy, December 1

1pt win Sizing Tennessee at 33/1


Elegant Escape shot to the top of the betting for the Ladbrokes Trophy following his comeback victory over Thomas Patrick at Sandown on Sunday, but the 4lb penalty he picks up as a result makes life tougher in a much deeper race, and there are others from the Colin Tizzard yard who make greater appeal at the revised odds.

Thistlecrack (16/1, General) has to be the first port of call as he still heads the weights following Tuesday's scratching stage, though it appears the Betfair Chase remains his number one priority despite not yet having a run under his belt due to the quick conditions at Wetherby on Charlie Hall Chase day.

In the same orange and black silks of John and Heather Snook, West Approach is a fascinating contender for Newbury and looks to put the finishing touches to his preparation with a bid for glory over a shorter trip in this weekend's BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Given a pretty gruelling campaign as a novice hurdler, he's often performed above expectations and he wasn't kept away from the limelight last year either, competing in Grade One novice chase events at Kempton, Sandown and the Cheltenham Festival, where he was sixth of nine behind Shattered Love in the JLT.

A subsequent crack at four miles and the Scottish National in April may have back-fired, but there was loads to like about his comeback third under Richard Johnson at the Showcase Meeting at the end of October.

He raced exuberantly at the head of affairs and, after an above-average round of jumping - something which has let him down at times in the past - still looked to be going best between the final two fences, before weakening having been headed coming to the last. He then boxed on bravely to hang onto his place up the hill.

The run could do him good, though it's worth recalling he's often been best caught fresh in the past. His performance this weekend is likely to affect his current Ladbrokes Trophy price, but on balance the 25/1 available is passed over with preference for another stablemate at even greater odds.

The Dutchman doesn't look up to this level and would surely need a bog to be competitive, but the same isn't true for Tizzard's SIZING TENNESSEE (33/1, General), who is versatile in terms of ground preference and has a genuine class edge over several of his rivals.

Formerly with Willie Mullins and Henry De Bromhead, he isn't a typical 10-year-old handicap chaser by any means, spending last season still in novice company having somehow failed to register a victory from four starts over fences in 2016/17.

Last term only yielded the one win, taking advantage of a good opportunity over the extended three miles and one furlong at Cheltenham in December, but there were a bunch of other fine efforts including a neck second when conceding 3lb to Yanworth on trials day and a front-running third to Rathvinden in the four-miler at the Festival itself.

Like West Approach, he too was pulled up in the Scottish National on his final start of the year but his spring form has never quite matched what he's produced in the winter, five of his six career victories coming in the months of January and December.

That trend was bucked last month, when Sizing Tennessee ultimately ran away with a Fontwell handicap on his reappearance.

It was a welcome return to form after the way last season ended, and left the distinct impression there would be more to come this season.

The second, Capeland, beaten 11 lengths and 29 clear of the third, Anthony, won at Wincanton over the weekend from the same mark which bolsters the merit of the form nicely and a new, career-high mark of 148 might not be beyond Tizzard's winner.

What it will do is just about guarantee his place in the Ladbrokes Trophy field, and it was encouraging to hear the trainer comment that he will part of the team heading to the course for the a look around the place next Tuesday for the Winter Carnival Gallops Morning.

Prices have been known to fluctuate quite markedly following that public gallop and it's certainly not hard to envisage the strong-travelling, white-faced Sizing Tennessee suddenly catching the eye on the track, as well as in the form book.

Posted at 1545 GMT on 13/11/18.


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Check out our daily preview with tips for every race

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Angel Palanas is Keith Hamer's best Tuesday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

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