The Betfair Chase (Saturday 25 November, 3.00) is a Grade 1 Chase run over 3 miles 1 furlong and 125 yards at Haydock. First run in 2005, it provides a first prize of £112,540, though it will also give the winner a chance to go for a £1 Million Bonus if they can win this season’s King George Chase on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Only one horse has won the bonus so far, and that was 4-time Betfair Chase winner Kauto Star, whilst Cue Card may well have won it if he hadn’t fallen three fences out in the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Betfair Chase Trends
Winners have been aged 6 to 11
3 winners have won the race more than once
SP’s have ranged from 4/6 to 33/1
Only 3 winners had won last time out
Colin Tizzard and Nigel Twiston-Davies are the only trainers to have previously trained a winner
No Jockey riding in this year’s race has won the race before
Bristol De Mai
Bids to follow in the footsteps of Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti by winning the Betfair Chase for the first-time as a 6-year-old, and heavy ground holds no fears for this Nigel Twiston-Davies trained dual course winner. Officially only the fourth highest-rated runner, but has the most room for improvement.
Not at his best in the 2014 renewal, but bids to equal Kauto Star’s tally of 4 wins in the race after successes in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Connections have opted for a new jockey after his fall at Wetherby, and he has also fallen in the last two Cheltenham Gold Cups, but he will love conditions and remains the highest-rated horse in the field despite that mark being 8lb below his career best.
Came back to the sort of form last time at Down Royal that gives him every chance in this for his inform stable, but he has been very poor on all 3 visits to England. However, they were all at Cheltenham, and it may just be he doesn’t like the undulations there. Best form in Ireland has come at Leopardstown, so Haydock may suit better.
Has a stone to find with Cue Card on official ratings, and even more worrying is the fact that he finished nearly 60-lengths behind Bristol De Mai at Wetherby last time. Shouldn’t be winning.
Tea For Two
Dispelled the theory that he can only win going right-handed when beating Cue Card by a neck in last season’s Betway Bowl, with Bristol De Mai well-beaten. Disappointed on seasonal debut though, and well-beaten at this meeting over hurdles in 2015. However, probably a better chance than his odds suggest.
Failed to win a handicap last time, and looks up against it here over a trip he’s not won over, on ground he hasn’t appeared to relish in the past.
Bristol De Mai is on the upgrade but, despite him having his optimum conditions, it’s hard to be enthused by his price as he is currently only the fourth best horse in the race. Meanwhile, Outlander hasn’t gone well on his previous forays to England, and Shantou Flyer and Traffic Fluide will surely need several none-completions to be winning this. Therefore, Cue Card looks the obvious one having excelled in this race 3-times already. However, it may be worth chancing Tea For Two at decent odds as he beat Cue Card and Bristol De Mai at Aintree in April.