Memories of Smad Place as Dingo Dollar goes for the Ladbroke
The race might have a different sponsor to when Smad Place provided Alan with one of his most exciting days on a racecourse three years ago, but the Ladbroke Trophy remains “very special” in the hearts of every jumps fan, and, hopefully, Dingo Dollar might get a slice of the £250,000 prize money in tomorrow’s showpiece at Newbury.
Alan said:”Dingo Dollar had an ideal prep over hurdles in the Pertemps Qualifier at Newbury last month, which should have put him spot on for a race which has been his target for some while.
“His work has been grand since and he schooled well over fences last week, so we are looking forward to running him.
“Second-season novices do well in this race, and he was progressive last season, winning twice and only just being nailed at Ayr on Scottish National day.
“Whether he has the necessary class only Saturday will answer, but I hope he’ll run well, though he is not a mudlark and could have done without the rain this week.”
Assessing our other runners at Newbury and Doncaster, Alan added:”Lisp runs in the Intermediate Hurdle, and I’m hoping he settles better than he did at Fontwell. To win the Salmon Spray there after taking such a ferocious hold is testimony to his ability, but that race will hopefully have taken the freshness out of him.
“Passing Call goes for the four-timer in the Listed Mares Novices’ Hurdle. It took a long time for the penny to drop, but once she shrugged off that second-itis she has thrived, and, while this is a step up in class, she is in very good order and deserves a shot at some black type.
“Big Chief Benny returns in the handicap hurdle, his first run since Boxing Day 2016. He was a good novice, winning twice, but after such a long absence he’ll need this comeback run for what is likely to be a stepping-stone to switching to fences later in the season.
“Potterman was also in that race, but he is good ground horse so we have re-routed him to Doncaster as underfoot conditions might suit him better up there.”
Among our other runners on Town Moor are Cosmeapolitan, who finished third to stablemate Caspar the Club at Kempton last time and should be suited by the track, and Harefield, who was all at sea in the mud at Sandown last time. He has fallen twice but has done plenty of schooling, and Alan is keen to restore his confidence before switching to fences.
Alan added: “We also have Midnightreferendum, who runs in the mares novices’ hurdle. She was a decent bumper horse, winning at Warwick and finishing second at Aintree, but I made a mistake in sending her to Chepstow for her jumping debut as she was not as forward as I thought she was. That was a strong race, too, but she is definitely better than she showed there.
“Another Midnight we have up there is Midnight Maestro, who makes his debut over fences. He won over hurdles at Market Rasen in May, but he has done plenty of schooling and might well have gone chasing last year had the ground not been so firm.”