Racing: Shot heads British queue for Ladbroke

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The Independent Online
A RECORD number of 23 British-trained entries have been made for the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown next month.

The IRpounds 75,000 race, the richest of its type in Ireland, has twice gone to British raiders in its 12-year history. David Elsworth's Barnbrook Again took the spoils in 1987 and the Jenny Pitman-trained Master Tribe struck in 1997.

Sharpical, the subsequent Tote Gold Trophy winner, would have gone close last year but for a blunder at the last which saw him fade into sixth. Having run off 10st 6lb there, Nicky Henderson's charge has been allotted 11st 4lb this year, with Ian Balding's Grey Shot - second to Relkeel in the Bula Hurdle on Saturday - heading the list of 55 on 12st. Indeed, British-trained horses fill the top five slots in the handicap.

Mary Reveley could be represented by Once More For Luck, who has 10st 2lb. "That's a grand weight," said the Saltburn handler. "My son Keith is keen to go over there. He's the sort of horse who likes to get into a bit of trouble, so the race should suit him. We have not finalised plans, but Michael Naughton could ride."

Jenny Pitman could run Balladur. Her husband, David Stait, said: "Jenny's keen to get a prep race into him and the plan is to run."

Ladbrokes bet: 10-1 Walk On Mix, 12-1 Advocat, 14-1 Nomadic, Snow Dragon, 16-1 Decoupage, Finnegan's Hollow, Khairabar, Polar Prospect, Sharpical, 20-1 bar.

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