The Betfair Chase is the highlight of this weekend’s jumps racing, and the rematch between the first two home in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Native River and Might Bite should not be missed. We’ve a free tip for the Betfair Chase as well as free tips for five other races at Haydock and Ascot. Those races are the Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Handicap Hurdle, Christy 1965 Chase Free, Coral Hurdle, Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle, and the Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase.
Cliffs Of Dover was a useful juvenile hurdler two seasons ago, when his wins included giving 8lb and a 9-lengths beating to this year’s Greatwood Hurdle winner Nietzsche. He’s not been seen over hurdles since February, when he was reluctant to start in a much better race after a long time off. However, he’s since won three of seven starts on the flat and should be fit for his return to hurdles. He also returns off just a lb higher mark that when beating Nietzsche, which is 5lb lower than when he last ran over hurdles.
Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Handicap Hurdle Free Tips: Cliffs Of Dover (Each-Way) @ 9.00 WilliamHill, Bet365
Politologue may not quite be at home at Cheltenham, but the form of any of his other five runs last season would be good enough for him to win this. He mainly raced over two-miles last season but put up his best performance when beating Min at Aintree over a similar trip to today’s, whilst he also scored over course and distance as a novice. He’s also won on both his chasing seasonal debuts, whilst his trainer Paul Nicholls has won four of the last nine renewals, including two for Politologue’s owner John Hales.
Christy 1965 Chase Free Tip: Politologue @ 2.62 Ladbrokes, Bet365
The 5lb penalty that First Assignment picked up for winning a Cheltenham Handicap last time shouldn’t stop Ian Williams’ five-year-old if he’s in anything like the same form just one week later. There is a chance that he won’t be, but he’s officially 8lb well-in and could make a mockery of what is usually a very competitive handicap. The bad news for his rivals is that last week’s race could have been a prep race for this, as this race is worth around 2½ times more to the winner than the Cheltenham race.
Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle Free Tip: First Assignment @ 2.62 Ladbrokes, Bet365
If The Cap Fits ran well when second at Wincanton on his seasonal debut and he could improve significantly for that run as he’d been off the track for nearly 11 months prior to it. Admittedly, his Wincanton conqueror Verdana Blue let the form down at Cheltenham last time, but she’s never run well at Cheltenham in several attempts. Having finished in front of highly-touted We Have A Dream at Wincanton, there’s no reason why he won’t beat him again, whilst the six-pounds he gets from Old Guard means he’s 4lb well-in with that rival. He also likes going right-handed and he could find further improvement now he steps up in trip.
Coral Hurdle Free Tip: If The Cap Fits @ 2.00 SkyBet, WilliamHill
It’s slightly disappointing that no Irish horses are contesting this year’s Betfair Chase, and that means just five horses are set to line up. What a quintet it is though with last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and runner-up Native River and Might Bite going head-to-head again. Native River’s stablemate Thistlecrack is also reportedly back to something like his best after a disappointing season last season, whilst course winner Clan Des Obeaux is still only six and could have any amount of improvement to come this season.
Of course, there’s also Bristol De Mai, who won the 2017 Betfair Chase by over 50-lengths who, though he might like softer ground, is still unbeaten at Haydock in three runs here. Therefore, this could be the best renewal of the Betfair Chase yet, but it will be no surprise if Native River and Might Bite dominate from pillar-to-post, just as they did in last year’s Gold Cup. The ground may have come in Might Bite’s favour but, I can’t see why the year younger Native River is three-times the price of Might Bite, especially considering he’s rated 4lb his superior after his Gold Cup win. So, Native River has to be the value-bet in the race.
Betfair Chase Free Tip: Native River @ 3.75 SkyBet, WilliamHill or Mr Green are offering 30/1 with a maximum stake of £1 to new customers here
Cyrname may have been beaten at short-odds on his seasonal debut, but the emphasis was firmly on stamina at Carlise over a trip of 2½ miles, and he travelled beautifully through the race up until just not getting home. On that evidence, it’s easy to see why connections are dropping him back in trip here at Ascot, as he likes going right-handed, and he could easily be another improving Paul Nicholls trained youngster that has nowhere near reached his full potential on a mark of 150.
Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase Free Tip: Cyrname (Each-way) @ 6.00 SkyBet, WilliamHill, PaddyPower (all 4 places)
Odds Correct at Time of Publication