28 October 2020

Topofthegame on course for Ladbrokes Trophy return

28 October 2020

Topofthegame remains on target to return to action in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on November 28.

Paul Nicholls’ charge won the RSA Chase in 2019 before finishing second at Aintree in April that year, but he missed last term after sustaining a leg injury.

Despite the financial constraints currently prevalent due to the pandemic, the race is being run at a value of £200,000 and 39 horses have been entered.

“We remain on target with Topofthegame, with the plan to go straight for the Ladbrokes Trophy,” said Nicholls.

“We’ll probably take advantage of the invitation to gallop him at Newbury in mid-November as part of their official gallops morning.

“The prize-money on offer for the big race and across the two days is very good considering the current climate.”

Last year’s winner De Rasher Counter, trained by Emma Lavelle, will be aiming to become the first back-to-back winner of the race since Arkle.

De Rasher Counter (right) provided Ben Jones with a big win in the race last year (PA Archive)

“De Rasher had a nice warm-up when coming second off top weight in a handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot a couple of weeks ago, which was a little earlier than we had originally planned,” said Lavelle.

“We are looking forward to running him again in the Ladbrokes Trophy, as well as Paisley Park, who will make his seasonal appearance in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle on the Friday.

“The whole weekend last year was quite amazing and all being well, both horses will be back defending their titles in just a few weeks’ time.”

Colin Tizzard’s Copperhead is second favourite behind Topofthegame, who heads the sponsor’s betting at 5-1.

Kim Bailey’s pair of Imperial Aura and Vinndication are prominent with The Conditional, Black Op and Kildisart others to note. There are no Irish-trained entries for the race.

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