Saturday 23rd November 2019
Author: Jordan Yates
Images: Jordan Yates
We’ve got two big races to look at this Saturday and the first of these that I’m going to take a look at is Haydock’s feature event The Betfair Chase. The race is a Grade 1 chase that’s contested over three miles and a furlong and is a race with an illustrious back catalogue of winners which feature the likes of Kauto Star, Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card. Bristol De Mai has won the race for the last two years and currently takes his place as the market leader for this year’s renewal to make it three wins in a row in the contest. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ eight-year-old is unbeaten around Haydock and often shows his best form at this track, he was slightly below par on his final outing of last season when down the field at Aintree behind Kemboy however on his penultimate start he ran a blinder when third in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He currently trades at around 10/11 here and will once again be partnered up with Daryl Jacob.
The main rival to the market leader looks to come in the form of Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation who’s trading currently at a best priced of 13/8. He got his season off to a fine start with a comfortable success on his seasonal reappearance and looks set for a campaign aimed at the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, Robbie Power looks to be in the saddle once more. Nigel Twiston-Davies has a second representative in the field and that’s Charlie Hall Chase winner Ballyoptic. Trading at around 12/1, he’s won both of his starts this season culminating with a fine effort in the Wetherby feature. Frodon currently makes up the field for Paul Nicholls and is a best priced of 7/1. He was last seen when putting in a slightly below par effort in the Old Roan at Aintree behind Kalashnikov and Forest Bihan last month, however, was the most progressive horse of the season last year stepping up through top-level handicaps to win the Ryanair at Cheltenham.
It looks as though this is going to come down to the top two in the market as the betting suggests, the likelihood being that they both pull away if they get a clear round. Bristol De Mai will be bang there if he turns up in the same form that he always seems to arrive at this track in. I think the young up and coming star could well get the better of him here though in LOSTINTRANSLATION as I believe this is a serious animal. I’ve been a fan for the last couple of seasons and I think this season is the one where he showcases his true potential and shows everyone what he’s all about. I think he can take this on his road to the Gold Cup.
Christy 1965 Chase
The Christy 1965 Chase is the Ascot feature and one of the most highly anticipated races of the season so far. The race is a Grade 2 contest that’s ridden over a distance of two miles and five furlongs and see’s the dual Champion Chase winner Altior make his seasonal reappearance where he will be stepped up in trip for the first time. He’s taken all before him in recent seasons and completed another unbeaten campaign with a workmanlike win at Cheltenham when getting the better of Politologue and Sceau Royal. He’s the current 8/13 favourite for the race and will be accompanied with usual partner Nico de Boinville.
What makes this race so fascinating is not just the fact that Altior is up in distance, it’s the fact that he faces a rival who is officially rated higher than him and that’s of course the Paul Nicholls’ trained Cyrname. He was last seen when winning the Ascot Chase here back in February by the best part of 17 lengths. He dismantled the field in that particular Group 1 affair where he took a part proven top-level performers, subsequently earning his current rating. He trades at around 5/4 here and will be partnered up once more with Harry Cobden. Top Notch also represents Nicky Henderson here, the likable eight-year-old won on seasonal reappearance at Aintree over hurdles and will likely come on a lot for the run. Solomon Grey and Keeper Hill conclude the line up as the outsiders.
As the betting suggests this is all about the top two in the market and I think ALTIOR will get the job done for Nicky Henderson. He’s given the impression for some time that he will relish a step up in trip, powering away at the end of his races over two miles whilst looking slightly outpaced at times. If Cyrname turns up in the same kind of form of his win here the last day conquering him will be no easy task, however the dual Champion Chase winner just knows how to win.