The Betbright Chase takes place at Kempton (Saturday 3.35pm) over the course and distance of the King George and, though it rarely attracts that class of horse, this year’s field looks set to comprise a competitive field of established handicappers, and potentially well-handicapped novices.
It’s hardly surprising it’s competitive though, as a first prize of £56,000 is well worth targeting, especially as it’s the first big chase after the announcement of the Grand National Weights.
Statistics also suggest that this is a race that doesn’t favour any particular type of horse with weights carried varying from 10-5 up to 11-12 in the last decade, and ages of the winners varying from 7 to 11, whilst big trainers and smaller stables have both lifted the prize.
There are lots of potential interesting runners at this point, so here’s our analysis of some of the likeliest winners, and two each-way tips.
Champagne West 11/2
Backed into just 7/4 for a competitive Cheltenham Handicap on his last start, and remains well-treated off the same mark. However, although he’s won going right-handed, and his trainer has an excellent record in the race, Kempton’s thorough test of jumping has to be a worry.
Fox Appeal 16/1
Remains a few pound higher than his last winning mark, but does love going right-handed, and is a course winner over fences and hurdles. There’s a suspicion a smaller field may suit him better, but no surprise if he hits the frame.
Hadrian’s Approach 20/1
His trainer has stated that the Grand National is his aim, and that’s no surprise as he showed loads of stamina in winning the 2014 Bet365 Chase. No surprise if he runs well, but may need this run after a lengthy absence.
La Reve 7/1
Consistent horse with a course record of 1/2/2. However, he’s 3lb higher than when finishing second here last year, and he’s plenty short enough in the market.
Opening Batsman 25/1
Won the 2013 renewal off the same mark, a mark he’s won off again since, but this looks a better contest than either of those victories.
Rocky Creek 16/1
4lb higher than when winning last year but, he was such an easy winner that day that a weight rise isn’t insurmountable. Finished first or second in 4 of his 5 right-handed starts and, though he’s run poorly recently, it’s worth remembering that he was pulled-up on his last penultimate start before winning last year’s contest.
Thomas Brown 10/1
Novice Chaser who gets the chance to carry a light-weight in a handicap for the first time. Not as experienced as some of the others, but his shrewd trainer was quick to book Noel Fehily who has won plenty of big races around Kempton.
Theatre Guide 10/1
Colin Tizzard has had his horses in brilliant form for most of the season, and this one looks well-handicapped on previous form, including when second in this year’s Hennessey. Bold show expected, and was an early market mover.
Ziga Boy 13/2
Looked a different animal in his last two runs at Doncaster, and is now on a mark of 141 having won off 117 and 132. Still at the bottom end of the weights, and impossible to discount.
Thomas Brown is a horse I’ve always had my eye on for a big handicap, and 10/1 looks a fair price for this unexposed novice who is set to carry just 10-7. However, I can also see Rocky Creek making a bold bid to defend his title now his stable has hit form, and he looks worth at least a saver.
Thomas Brown each-way @ 10/1 (Various Bookmakers)
Rocky Creek each-way @ 16/1 (Various bookmakers)