THE BETFAIR CHASE - Full Race Preview And Tip...

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WOW!! What a day we have in store this Saturday. Quality racing in store from both sides of the Irish Sea. 

However The feature race race this week is:

THE BETFAIR CHASE

Founded in 2005, The Betfair Chase is a grade 1 steeplechase run at Haydock racecourse and is open to horses aged 5 years and older.

It is also the first grade 1 steeple chase of the season. It is run at a distance of 3miles and 1furlong.

Betfair initially offered £1 million to any horse who won "their" race then followed it up with the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The Lexus chase in Ireland was added as an alternative second race in 2006 to attract some Irish horses over and make the Betfair Chase more competitive.

Kauto Star won by the original route in 2007 and after some variations the Betfair Million was dropped.

Looking at the trends of the race is hard as it's only 9 years old and Kauto Star won four of them.. He was also a faller at the last when looking like winning another in 2008.

Taking stats into account, no 5 year old has won it, but this year that stat doesn't matter as there are no 5 year olds in the race. In fact there are no 6 year olds either.

There are 9 entries for this years event. This years line up has 2 7year olds, 4 8yo, 2 9yo and 1 10yo in the race.

So I'll look at previous winners form coming into the race.

So in previous runnings:

9 out of 9 have been in the first 3 on their last completed start.

8 out of 9 have either won or come second in a grade 1 chase.

8 out of 9 have also had 1 run or were having their first run of the season.

7 out of 9 had won over 3 miles or over.

After that you look at the prices. 

8 out of the 9 winners were 9/1 or lower. 

Only 2 winners have come outside the top 3 in the betting. Those 2 being last years winner Cue Card(who we'll take a closer look at later), and Snoopy Loopy who won in the aforementioned 2008 race where Kauto Star fell)

Favourites have a mixed record in the race having figures of 311f11226. So a 4 out of 9 win record and a 6 out of 9 place record.

We could look into breeding trends but with Kauto Star being French bred there isn't really a point.

Training wise, Paul Nicholls has won it 5 times. 4 with Kauto Star and once with Silviniaco Conti. No other trainer has won it more than once.

Jockey wise Ruby Walsh(4) is the only jockey to have won it more than once.

The Contenders

Silviniaco Conti
2012 winner on his second run of that season, and was third in this last year on his seasonal debut. This suggests to me that this is his main aim, rather than the Charlie Hall. Noel Fehily is a jockey I really like and his partnership with this horse has been built up over the last couple of seasons. Didn't seem himself in the gold cup, but followed up with a solid win over Dynaste in Aintree. A major player.

Cue Card
Returned from injury in the Haldon Gold Cup and faded like any horse would after such a break. Won this well last year but then looked to emptied in the King George, but then stayed on once Silviniaco Conti passed him. Will have improved for his first run, but will he have come on enough?? 

Dynaste
Ah, the enigma that is Dynaste!! This horse drives me mad. I think he has it all, then he goes and makes me think why have I backed him. Then he goes and wins again.
I can't work this guy out, but if he's on top form then there is no reason to suggest he can't win this. Was second in this last year, and after a break form the King George to March won the Ryanair.

A leading contender if in the mood.

Taquin Du Seuil
Started this season as a possible gold cup contender, but has failed to set the world alight this season. Stayed on to finish second in the Charlie Hall, even though he never threatened to challenge the winner(Menorah) that day. He was also getting 5 pounds that day. Running off level weights here and with a deeper field of talent, I can see him up against it. On a positive note he has Barry Geraghty on board and if anyone can improve a horse and give him a chance it's him. Uxizandre has boosted his form from the festival and should be bang there at the business end.

Menorah
The winner of the Charlie Hall and a stable who are in red hot form. Ran on the flat in the summer and showed every sign of benefiting from that run. He may however be over the top for this and I see better betting prospects.

Harry Topper
The more rain the better for this battler with a never say die attitude. Was a lively contender for the 2014 Cheltenham gold cup but the rain didn't arrive for him. Has won on his first start of the season on the previous 2 years. This is definitely his toughest race to date. Jason Maguire is back in the saddle and he's more than capable of upsetting the bigger names in this.

Double Ross
Will love the ground and has Sam Twiston-Davies back in the saddle again. Having his third run of the season however he was brought down in his reappearance and will run creditable.

Medermit
10 years old now and a horse who once had great ability. Ran a solid race in the Charlie Hall finishing 4th. Won a Haldon Gold Cup in 2011, butI see this well beyond him.

The Giant Bolster
Rank outsider and thumped in this in the last 2 years. Great experience for Tom Cannon, but I can't see this fella being a player.

Conclusion.

An intriguing contest is in store for us. Plenty of these have chances.

If improving for the trip, Taquin Du seiul has a solid each way chance.

If Cue Card is fully recovered he could become the second horse to defend his title, but there's too many questions about him for me to back him.

Dynaste if running to form could well win. Also Menorah shouldn't be ignored lightly and Harry Topperid improving to this standard and loving the ground like he does is a lively outsider. 

But something suggests to me that Paul Nicholls had Silviniaco Conti ready, and could bring a sixth win his way.

Looked to need the run last season and with that under his belt this season.

Currently a 4/1 shot with Ladbrokes, and is a decent win bet

Best of luck with your betting!

Mark
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