Saturday, 2 December 2017

Newbury: Harry Fry hoping to fulfill the American dream

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Harry Fry's exciting chaser American will bid to fufil his promise, as the big day arrives for long-time Ladbroke Trophy favourite at Newbury.

The seven-year-old won stylishly on his first two outings over fences, but missed out on his intended target the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

He went to October and confirmed his place as a classy chaser, when Welsh National antepost favourite Rock The Kasbah convincingly by eight lengths.

The Dorset trainer has kept him in waiting for this race all Summer, and is hopeful his patience will be rewarded.

“We have been very happy with American’s progress since he came back in over the summer,” said the Dorset trainer.

“It is obviously going to be a big ask first time out but he did nothing wrong last year, and he has an ideal profile for the race as a second-season chaser.

“American makes us work hard. Thankfully, he has come through his work at home with flying colours and is all set for Saturday.

“It’s no secret that his knees are not great and that is why we need slow ground for him. Looking at the forecast, it should be ideal on Saturday.”

Willie Mullins won this contest with Be My Royal in 2002, but the horse was eventually disqualifed and the Master of Closutton is seeking his first win in the race with Total Recall.

The eight-year-old beat a good field at Limerick by eight lengths last time, and despite an 18lb rise in the weights remains a key contender in the race.

"Total Recall is the one on everyone's lips. The pigeons around Carlow appear to have Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat," Patrick Mullins told the Irish Independent.

"He pulverised the field in the Munster National, looking like a horse for whom the sky could be the limit.

"However, the handicapper has reacted accordingly to try and make him another Icarus. He is now 18lbs higher than his Limerick stroll so he will need to forge a performance of a whole new nature to succeed once again.

"With the second horse in Limerick, Alpha Des Obeaux, coming out and winning the Clonmel Oil Chase afterwards, it appears there is sound reason to think that he can step up to the task.

"Total Recall carries only 10st 8lb, a perfect racing weight, and he is an improving horse, who has shown he can handle the red-hot fire of a competitive handicap chase, has a run under his belt, should stay the trip and handle the ground.

"With Ruby sidelined with his broken leg, Paul Townend takes the ride and I think he can finally help heal the wounds and scars of 2002."

Mullins also saddles Pleasant Company, whilst fellow countryman Noel Meade brings A Genie In Abottle across the Irish Sea.

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Whisper is among some well-fancied rivals all seeking Ladbroke Trophy glory in Berkshire

Cheltenham Festival narrow losers Whisper (RSA) and Singlefarmpayment (JLT Handicap) look to take Newbury's prestigious prize, whilst confidence is high for former Gold Cup hero Coneygree's return to Berkshire.

The likes of Carole's Destrier, Double Ross, Vyta Du Roc, Cogry, Southfield Royale and Present Man also take their chance.

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