With such a classy line-up for Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock it wouldn’t be totally unheard of if the ITV Racing team made this contest ‘Pay-For-View’!
Okay, that’s not going to happen, but you get the picture and, yes, we’ve only five runners, but what the race lacks in quantity, it certainly makes up for in quality!
We’ve last season’s Gold Cup first and second in Native River and Might Bite renewing rivalry, and the return of the 2016 King George VI Chase winner – Thistlecrack. Plus, add into the mix last year’s hero – Bristol De Mai – who is also three-from-three over fences at Haydock, then jump racing fans will not want to miss this one.
Saturday’s 3m 1 1/2f Grade One Betfair Chase will only be the fourteenth renewal but it’s already a contest that’s been dominated by trainers Paul Nicholls, Nigel Twiston-Davies and Colin Tizzard – between the trio they’ve won the prize a staggering eleven times (85%), and all three are represented again this year.
You can get more help finding the winner of the Betfair Chase on our ITV Tips page
Plus, to help pin-point the best winning profile of the 2018 Betfair Chase we are on-hand with some key trends and statistics.
We hope they help you find the winner!
- 11 of the last 13 winners had won over at least three miles (fences)
- 11 of the last 13 winners raced within the last four weeks
- 10 of the last 13 winners were officially rated 168 or higher
- 10 of the last 13 winners finished in the top three in their last race
- 10 of the last 13 winners were Irish (3) or French (7) bred
- 9 of the last 13 winners had raced at Haydock before
Trends – Key Runners
Might Bite ✅❌✅✅✅❌
Native River ✅❌✅✅✅❌
Bristol De Mai ✅❌❌✅✅✅
Clan Des Obeaux❌❌❌✅✅✅
The popular Might Bite makes his seasonal reappearance and as the likely favourite will be the one the bookmakers will want to take on. This nine-year-old will be looking to give trainer Nicky Henderson his first success in this race and it’s hard to fault his chance. His only blot last season came in the Gold Cup when Native River got the better of him in an epic battle at Cheltenham, but he quickly bounced back a month later though to land the Betway Bowl at Aintree in decisive fashion, with Bristol De Mai seven lengths back in second. He also won first time out last season so his long absence isn’t a big concern with the Seven Barrows camp sure to have him spot-on for his return. Our trends give him a big chance too with four of the six in his favour, but those looking for something to take him on with might cling to this being his first run at the track – nine of the last thirteen winners had run at Haydock previously. Overall, he sets the standard and ticks a lot of boxes – but is also poor value in a race with some classy opponents.
If this race turns into a slog, then Native River certainly has the credentials to go well. From the in-form Colin Tizzard, that have won three of the last five runnings, last season’s Gold Cup winner also heads here as the clear top-rated (176). He’s got four pounds in-hand on Might Bite and is rated a massive eleven-pound superior to last year’s winner – Bristol De Mai. He’s also a Welsh National winner so stays further than this three-mile trip and will have the services of the champion jockey – Richard Johnson, who has a 25% strike-rate when riding over fences at Haydock. The trends give him the same chance as Might Bite, with a lack of a recent run and no previous track experience the only potential negatives. He has, however, won many times at Newbury, which is a very similar course to Haydock so there shouldn’t really be any concerns on that score. He’s a big player and any further rain would also be fine.
Bristol De Mai trounced a decent field in this race twelve months ago and it would be a brave man that says he can’t do it again. When they say ‘horses-for-courses’ then this Nigel Twiston-Davies six-year-old certainly advertises that at Haydock. He’s yet to taste defeat at the track – winning all three previous runs over fences at the course. His chance will, however, improve greatly if the ground becomes soft or heavy, and being that he’s another with four of our six trends on his side then he’s certainly got a leading chance. Being rated 165 and the lack of a recent run might be seen as negatives – it might be worth noting that last year he took this on his second start. Having said that, he’s gone well fresh in the past and being that he’s the only proven course and distance winner in the field, plus the current champ, then he could be the value call – especially if the rain comes!
The 2016 King George VI Chase hero – Thistlecrack – adds a nice sub-plot to the race as he returns from around eleven months off. It’s no secret that he’s had some issues but the Tizzard camp must feel he’s ready to rumble again and is pitched right back in at the deep-end. His 2016 King George VI form would certainly give him a massive chance, but we’ll have to see if, at the age of ten, he retains that old ability. His yard have a terrific record in the race so that’s a plus, but of our featured runners he’s really struggling based on the trends – he falls down on five of the six! Only being a proven winner over three miles is on his side so based on that and the unknown if he’ll return at the same level as a few seasons ago then he’s a bit to prove.
The Paul Nicholls yard mopped-up six Betfair Chases with Kauto Star (four) and Silviniaco Conti (two) so anything he runs should always be respected. He pins his hopes this year on Clan Des Obeaux. This six-year-old was last seen running just over ten lengths third to Might Bite in the Betway Bowl at Aintree in April, but he’s certainly got time on his side and there could be more to come from him with another summer on his back. He’s won three of his ten starts over fences but is also a consistent sort with seven top three chase finishes. The trends give him a mixed chance as he only ticks half of our six – however, he is a proven winner over fences at Haydock so that counts for a lot and hailing from the Paul Nicholls yard, that love to win this prize, then he’s certain to still have his supporters.
Every Haydock race covered live on ITV can be found on our Haydock Racing Tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.