Vintage Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on the horizon

The £200,000 Betfair Chase will be staged for the 12th time on Saturday, November 19, day two of the Betfair Chase Weekend at Haydock Park, and one of the strongest-ever renewals of the tremendous Grade One contest is in prospect.

Cue Card (Colin Tizzard), who has already won the Betfair Chase twice (2013 and 2015), is the 6/4 favourite with Betfair for this year’s renewal of the three-mile contest, which starts off The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown with its bonus of £1 million.

He also finished fourth in the 2014 renewal, though the very popular 10-year-old chaser still has some way to go to match the exploits of Kauto Star, a four-time victor of the Betfair Chase (2006, 2007, 2009 & 2011).

The 2016 Betfair Chase has also been named as a possible target for the 2015 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Coneygree (Mark Bradstock, 4/1 with Betfair), who is making a comeback following injury this season.

Also prominent in the market with Betfair are Djakadam (13/2), twice runner-up in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, and Vautour (14/1), successful in the 2016 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, both trained by Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins and owned by Rich Ricci.

Another former dual winner of the Betfair Chase who could line up again is Silviniaco Conti (13/2), successful in 2012 and 2014 and also runner-up last year. The 10-year-old is trained by Britain’s champion Jump handler Paul Nicholls, who was also responsible for Kauto Star.

Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 20/1) landed the G2 Altcar Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles at Haydock Park in January and went on to win the G1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase over the same distance at Sandown Park the following month.

He contested the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and beat all bar Black Hercules when the staying-on three-length runner-up.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir & Isaac Souede, commented today: “The plan is for Bristol De Mai run at Carlisle on October 30 (in the Listed Colin Parker Intermediate Chase) and we will see where we go from there.

“The entries for the Betfair Chase close after Carlisle, so we will see how he performs there first and then make a decision.

“He is a horse we want to try at three miles, but are not sure yet whether his first start over that distance should be in a Grade One.

“He also has the option of a Grade Two race over two miles and five furlongs at Ascot on the same day as the Betfair Chase.”

The Betfair Chase, worth £200,000, is the joint-richest Jump race staged in Britain until The Festival at Cheltenham in March next year.

The Betfair Chase is the first leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. Any horse who wins the Betfair Chase and 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 the final day of The Festival, Friday, March 17, 2017, will earn a bonus of £1 million (65% to the winning owner, 15% to the trainer, 10% to stable staff at the winning yard, and 10% to the jockey – split a third per race if different jockeys ride).

The legendary Kauto Star won all three races in the 2006/07 season, while Cue Card came close last year when winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park and taking more G1 glory at Kempton Park before falling three out when well in contention at Cheltenham.

Entries for the Betfair Chase close at noon Tuesday, November 1 and will be revealed 24 hours later on Wednesday, November 2.

Befair Chase, Betfair bet: 6/4 Cue Card; 4/1 Coneygree; 13/2 Djakadam, Silviniaco Conti; 14/1 Vautour; 16/1 Blaklion, Many Clouds, More Of That; 20/1 Bristol De Mai, Holywell, Smad Place, Thistlecrack, Un Temps Pour Tout; 25/1 Minella Rocco; 33/1 Native River, O Faolains Boy
EW Terms: 1/5 Odds – 3 Places

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