Betfair Chase Day Preview
Betfair Chase Day
Saturday sees the return of The Betfair Chase to Haydock, a Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase open to horses aged five years or older, run over a distance of about 3 miles and with a challenging eighteen fences to be jumped. There have been many prestigious winners of the race in the past. Kauto Star, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice and the King George IV chase a record five times, won the race four times between 2006 and 2011. Other esteemed horses to win the race include Cue Card and Silvianaco Conti (both of whom are running in the race this year) plus Nigel Twiston-Davies’ steeplechaser Imperial Commander, who also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. There have been many thrilling encounters, possibly none more so than in 2011 when Kauto Star rolled back the years at age 11 to beat Long Run in an exhilarating finish.
In terms of looking at this year’s contest from a betting perspective, the horse I will be backing is CONEYGREE at 11/4 general. A combination of factors contributes to the selection. Firstly, I do not fancy the chances of 7/4 favourite CUE CARD. Colin Tizzard’s horse is obviously a danger if he can rediscover his form but he has thoroughly underwhelmed in his last two outings at odds on. Tizzard is in good form with wins for Thistlecrack and Fox Norton last weekend but it would take a very good training performance to get Cue Card home first.
Additionally, I do not fancy the chances of third favourite SILVIANACO CONTI. He put in a decent performance last time out at Down Royal but faded towards the end of the race. He only has one win in his last six, and has been pulled up two times in those six races so is not the most reliable. Unfortunately, I cannot see him rediscovering his brilliant form, and feel his best days may be behind him.
So, this leaves me with my selection CONEYGREE. I am more than willing to take a chance on him at the odds of 11/4 that are currently available. He has won a staggering 9 out of his 11 races, and thrives on a big occasion too. He has wins at the Cheltenham Festival and Kempton on Boxing Day 2014 under his belt. In his victory at Cheltenham, Silvianaco Conti came 7th whilst he also beat some very good horses in Djakadam (who is one of the favourites for this years Cheltenham Gold Cup), Many Clouds and Road to Riches. Some may be worried about him not having ran in over a year, but historically the horse has thrived on being fresh. He has wins from 259, 671 and 240 day breaks on his CV so it shouldn’t be a problem. Also, most of his wins have been on good to soft/soft or heavy ground and with rain forecast in Haydock this week, it should suit him down to the ground. The booking of Aidan Coleman on board is also a positive.
Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle
The Betfair “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle, is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race at Haydock which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 3 miles It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year in November. This race includes the use of Fixed Brush hurdles. These are based on the French hurdle design, similar to plain fences but lower in height. This makes for an interesting contest. Previous winners include According to Pete and Dynaste.
My selection for this race is Dan Skelton’s TWO TAFFS. You can currently get a best priced 13/2 on this horse. Skelton’s yard is in very good form and the combination of him and his jockey brother Harry has been successful. Skelton also trained the winner of the race last year – Baradari. Two Taffs has won its last two races and likes good to soft ground, which it is likely to be at Haydock on Saturday. It’s definitely worth each way bet at those odds.
Betfair Price Rush Hurdle
The Betfair Price Rush Hurdle provides a brilliant supporting race to the afternoon’s feature races at Haydock on Saturday, and a possible field of six runners could go to post for the two-mile contest which gets underway at 1.50pm as the afternoon’s fourth race.
Amongst the runners, is previous winner of the race Irving. However, I will be going with the favourite MY TENT OR YOURS. Nicky Henderson’s horse has never been out of the first 3 in 11 Class 1 races, winning 4. He has come second in his last 3 Class 1’s, and in them has been beaten by some very good horses- Willie Mullins’ Annie Power and Vroum Vroum Mag, therefore the form looks good. This should be the race where My Tent or Yours gets back to winning ways.
Kauto Star – Legend Of Haydock Park