French trainer Emmanuel Clayeux targeting major prizes at Haydock

French trainer Emmanuel Clayeux is set to represented by two runners at Haydock Park this Saturday, November 19, day two of the Betfair Chase Weekend, headed by Vezelay in the £209,000 Grade One Betfair Chase (3.00pm, 3m 24y).

He also has Fyrmyin who will go for either the £100,000 Grade Three Betfair Exchange “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2.25pm, 2m 6f 177y) or the £35,000 Better Odds With Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle (12.40pm, 2m 2f 191y).

Vezelay recorded the biggest victory of his career in a G2 chase over two miles and six furlongs at Auteuil in November, 2014 and ran an excellent race last season when a close third in the G1 Prix La Haye Jousselin over an extended three miles and three furlongs at the same venue in November, 2015.

He was last seen out when runner-up in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil on October 4. He is a 66/1 chance with Betfair.

Fyrmyin has been in great form this season, winning on his last three starts at Vichy and Lyon Parilly (twice).

Clayeux, based near Moulins in central France, said: “The plan is to run both Vezelay and Fyrmyin on Saturday.

“Vezelay has run some races and is in good form. I think he doesn’t really like the very, very soft ground that you often get at Auteuil.

“That is why we are taking him to England – even if the ground is soft in England, it is nothing like the soft ground we get in France.

“This will be his first run in Britain and the race will show us how he gets on against the best British-trained horses. If he runs well, we could look at taking him to Kempton.

“Fyrmyin has won his last three starts so he is a nice horse. We are travelling him over as Vezelay is running and it looks like it could be a good opportunity for him.

“I am still looking at both races and haven’t yet come to a decision as to which one he will run in.”

Clayeux has yet to saddle a winner in Britain from five runners, but went very close to success at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013 when 33/1 chance Sirene D’Ainay only found the mighty Quevega a length and a half too strong in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.

A vintage 12th renewal of the Betfair Chase is in prospect with Cue Card (Colin Tizzard, 7/4 favourite with Betfair), the winner in 2013 and 2015, and another dual scorer (2012 & 2014) Siliviniaco Conti (Paul Nicholls, 5/1) both set to start again.

The 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Coneygree (Mark Bradstock, 9/4) was yesterday revealed to be on course for Saturday’s contest, while Irish Cavalier (Rebecca Curtis, 12/1) and Menorah (Philip Hobbs, 16/1) were first and second respectively in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on October 29.

Another contender already on the mark this season is Seeyouatmidnight (Sandy Thomson, 7/1), who landed the Listed Colin Parker Intermediate Handicap Chase at Carlisle on October 30. God’s Own (Tom George, 20/1) could make his first start at three miles, having won three Grade One contests over shorter.

Irish interest could be provided by Outlander (20/1) and Roi Des Francs (33/1), who are both trained by Gordon Elliott.

The Betfair Chase is the first leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. Any horse who wins the Betfair Chase and then goes on to land the G1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 17 will earn a bonus of £1 million.

In addition, a special Kauto Star Trophy will be presented to connections of any horse that completes the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. The Kauto Star Trophy recognises the 10-year-anniversary of the great horse’s achievement in becoming the first, and so far only, racehorse in history to win Britain’s three Blue Riband staying chases in the same season (2006/7), which are each run at The Jockey Club’s racecourses.

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