Since it’s inauguration in 2005, the Betfair Chase has become one of the most valuable races of the season, regularly attracting a star studded field. The Grade 1, 18-fence race, is open to five-year-old’s and above, with last year’s winner, Cue Card, taking home over £112,000.
The quality is always a high standard and this year will be no exception but before you place your bet, have a read of our top five tips that we hope will see you win big this year.
5. Focus on Form
This year will be the 10th edition of the Betfair Chase and so far, all previous nine winners of the three mile steeplechase went into the race with a top-three finish in their last completed start. Cue Card was victorious one-year-ago and warmed up with a third-placed finish in the BetVictor Haldon Gold Cup Chase while 2012 winner Silviniaco Conti warmed up with victory in the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase. And it is a trend that continues all the way back to 2005, so it definitely pays to pay close attention to recent form and most importantly their last result, prior to the competing in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park.
4. Experience Pays
Four of the previous nine winners have been aged nine or older and of those four, three of the winners had finished first or second in a previous Betfair Chase, the exception being 2008 champion Snoopy Loopy, who triumphed after benefitting from a fence fall from the prolific Kauto Star. It is hard to make suggestion on the ideal age with the last nine years producing a mixed bag but if you are looking to back an older runner it certainly seems to pay look and see if they have previous form in the race and it is no surprise to see the those who fit that bill heading the market this year. Six of the last nine winners, meanwhile, featured in the previous season’s King George VI Chase, including 2013 winner Cue Card. And Only two of the nine winners so far have not come from the top-three in the market (Cue Card last year, who started at 4th favourite, and Snoopy Loopy in 2008).
3. Go for Grade One Winners
Of the last nine winners, the last eight all headed into the Betfair Chase with previous Grade 1 race winning experience. Ireland’s Kingscliff, the winner of the first Lancashire Chase, as it is also known, is the only horse who did not have that previous top-level winning experience. While seven of the previous nine winners have also won a three mile race prior to the Betfair Chase, four-time winner Kauto Star and last year’s winner Cue Card being the only two who headed into the race without prior a 24-furlong victory. And eight of the nine winners were also priced at 9/1 or lower, Snoopy Loopy the exception following his fortunate victory.
2. Ruby’s record
Ruby Walsh holds the record for the most victories in the Betfair Chase, winning the Haydock Park steeplechase an impressive four-times since 2006. The 35-year-old guided Kauto Star to three of the gelding’s incredible four victories. And he continued his own superb record in 2012 as he rode six-year-old Silviniaco Conti to victory. The County-Kildare jockey had a 30% win record, (28% in jump racing) during the 2013-14 season but split from trainer Paul Nicholls, allowing him to take on more rides for Willie Mullins. If he is in the saddle this November at Haydock, however, he has to fancy his chances of recording a record breaking fifth victory and must be worth consideration.
1. Nicholls Knows Best
Trainer Paul Nicholls enjoys a superb record in the Betfair Chase, winning four-times with the aforementioned Kauto Star and also seeing Silviniaco Conti secure victory in 2012. Nicholls record in the race reads an impressive 5-0-4 from nine races, giving the trainer a win percentage of 55%. Nigel Twiston-Davies, meanwhile, has a record of (1-1-6), guiding Imperial commander to first and second placed finishes. Last year, Silviniaco Conti finished third and is expected to feature again this time around, his previous winning experience could be key along with his recent form and with Nicholls training the 2012 champion he should go close once again. David Pipe also has a solid record, although he has yet to produce a winner, the trainer has gone close with two runner-up finishes and one-third place finish, including a second-placed finish last year with Dynaste, who could feature again this year and fits the bill of a potential winner.