Betfair Chase (Class 1) (Grade 1) (3m 1f 125y)
After a fantastic three days of action at the November Meeting at Cheltenham the attention this week now turns to one of the great races of the National Hunt calendar in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
The final confirmations were declared for this today and the three big guns in the market look to be last year’s winner Cue Card, this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John and the horse that bolted up round here in January in the Peter Marsh Bristol De Mai. We also have Outlander for Gordon Elliot, Tea For Two for Nick Williams, Traffic Fluide for Gary Moore and Shantou Flyer for Richard Hobson.
Bristol De Mai seems to of taken up favouritism for the race today and can be found trading as short as 6/4 with some firms. He does love it around here as shown when he hacked up by 22 lengths on the last day he was here but I think that price is far too short to be getting involved with.
Sizing John has drifted somewhat alarmingly out to around 3/1 after being the favourite for the contest for some time. He was said to of been largely overweight coming out of his summer off and there could be vibes around that point towards him needing the run here. Connections have however said he’s now in great order and are confident of a big run and you’d be a fool to rule him out but I might just look elsewhere on this occasion.
Outlander is an interesting one for Gordon Elliott. He won his reappearance well last time out but he’s a horse of which you don’t always know what your getting. On his day he’s a real smart performer but unfortunately you don’t always know when he feels like showing up.
The horse I’m going to take a chance on here will likely surprise a few regular readers of this page as i’m not always his biggest advocate but i’m going to take a chance on CUE CARD. He fell on his last outing in the Charlie Hall but connections have said he was working fine just the day after that and it hasn’t affected him. He’s also won this race the last two years in a row and is somewhat of a fan favourite in these parts. Another factor for me is that Harry Cobden is now on board, taking nothing away from Paddy Brennan but I think a change in hands might revitalise the horse slightly and i’m a huge fan of Cobden and think he’s destined to be champion jockey later on in his career.
CUE CARD – 7/2 (Jockey: Harry Cobden – Trainer: Colin Tizzard)