Christian Williams’ Kitty’s Light primed for Ladbrokes Trophy bid under talented Jack Tudor

TRAINER Christian Williams reports Kitty’s Light to be in fine shape ahead of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday.

Trainer Christian Williams.

TRAINER Christian Williams reports Kitty’s Light to be in fine shape ahead of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday.

The five-year-old bids to become the youngest horse to win the prestigious staying handicap chase since its inception as the Hennessy Gold Cup in 1957.

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Runner-up in a controversial race for the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April when denied a clear run under young rider Jack Tudor, Kitty’s Light has had the benefit of two runs this autumn and is a general 10-1 chance for glory at the weekend.

Jockey Jack Tudor.

Second in a handicap chase at Chepstow on his return early last month, he was runner-up to Fusil Raffles in the incident-packed Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby three weeks later.

“We’re looking forward to the race. He’s in good form at home and we cantered him at Newbury last week, he seemed very well.

“He’s a good horse and one we always look forward to running,” said Williams.

“Hopefully it will stay dry for another week. He’s in good form so he’ll be running whatever the ground is.”

He added: “He’s a bit of a freak how he recovers from his races. Even in the winner’s enclosure after a race he recovers so quickly.

“There must be something in him – big lungs, big heart – and he’s so clean winded. He always recovers very well.”

Williams, who spent part of his injury-curtailed riding career with Sue and Harvey Smith in West Yorkshire, is no stranger to big race success as a trainer. He saddled Potters Corner to Welsh Grand National glory at Chepstow in December 2019 after entrusting the teenaged Tudor with the big race ride over more experienced jockeys.

And the burgeoning alliance between Williams, who trains in Glamorgan, and rising star Tudor was self-evident at Haydock on Saturday when they landed the concluding three mile chase with Strictlyadancer.

In other news, the Smith-trained Midnight Shadow – victorious in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham 10 days ago for the Bingley trainer – could line up in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at the Cotswolds track next month. Ryan Mania’s mount is one of 37 entries that also include stablemate Joke Dancer.

The horse also holds an entry in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile plans have been announced by the British Horseracing Authority to improve and modernise weighing-room facilities across all British racecourses.

A task force has been working since March to agree a programme of objectives aimed at meeting the current and future needs of jockeys of all ages and genders.

Weighing room will now be reconfigured in line with the new standards, while some of the upgrades are immediate priorities such as the introduction of key safeguarding measures to provide private changing and shower facilities for jockeys, particularly for under-18s.

The safeguarding changes will be implemented by February 2022, and all racecourse saunas will be permanently closed or removed.

Discussions are also taking place about future weight structures. Since the pandemic jockeys have been able to take advantage of additional weight allowances due to the closure of racecourse saunas following Covid.

Many of the changes have been instigated by Dale Gibson, the well-respected executive director of the Professional Jockeys Association, who lives in North Yorkshire.