It promises to be another fantastic week of Jumps racing with the highlight of the week being the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. Trainer Richard Hobson doesn’t have a large operation but he does fantastically well with what he has got. He had 13 winners from just 49 runners in the 2019/20 campaign which is a 27-per-cent strike rate. This season hasn’t been too bad for him either, with 3 winners from 18 runners returning 17-per-cent. Richard sent two runners to Newbury last season and they both won thanks to Defi Sacre. He has two entries for Newbury this Friday and they are worth keeping an eye on.
This could turn out to be a very informative and high standard maiden hurdle. Flinteur Sacre, closely related to the superstar Sprinter Sacre, currently has an entry for Nicky Henderson. If he does turn up he could be a warm order but Richard’s runner here is FUGITIF. This five-year-old Ballingarry gelding was placed in a Nantes hurdle race at odds of 50-1 in October of last year. His reappearance run was at Aintree earlier this month and he ran a poor race. There is every chance that he lacked fitness on the day so he could improve. However, he will need to improve a lot to land a blow here. With Richard’s incredible win and place strike-rate, you should get tasty odds and a run for your money.
DEFI SACRE is one of the yard’s leading lights and he has outstanding claims if he takes his chance in this handicap on Friday. He was a 14-length winner of a Musselburgh handicap chase off 111 in November 2019. That was followed up with two victories in a row here at Newbury off 118 and 123. Well supported into favouritism on both occasions, he did the job in workmanlike fashion but looks like a very progressive horse. The horse he narrowly defeated when last seen at Newbury, Amoola Gold, since was narrowly defeated off 138 so this horse looks well treated off 129. He is one to keep on the right side of.