The Betfair Chase, also known as the Lancashire Chase but having been sponsored by the betting exchange giant since its inauguration in 2005, is run at Haydock Park in November over a distance of 3 miles 1½ furlongs and features nineteen fences.
The race has Grade 1 status and is now a recognised trial for the Gold Cup – the race run on the Fourth day (Friday) of the Cheltenham Festival. Up to now the race has only produced one subsequent Gold Cup winner in the shape of the great Kauto Star, but it is rather early in its inception and it will surely produce many more in the years to come.
There was an original Lancashire Chase, run at Manchester Racecourse which closed in 1963, but this new event is a great prep for both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National, the Betfair Chase 2022 being due to take place on Saturday 19th November.
Henry De Bromhead has declared his intention to seek back-to-back victories in the Betfair Chase with 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard. Last season he came here after a 246-day absence and it will be a similar story this time around. Having avenged his 2021 Gold Cup defeat emphatically in March, the gelding is now the horse to beat and was quickly installed as odds-on favourite with the bookmakers.
Dan Skelton is likely to run Gold Cup third Protektorat who finished 17 1/2 lengths adrift at Cheltenham. That was a fine effort and confirmed the promise of his previous 25 lengths win in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. Protektorat has run well after a break in the past and looks the one most likely to make a race of it.
Royal Pagaille also features among the possible Betfair Chase 2022 runners, a confirmed mud lark who has run respectably on faster ground than he likes in the last two Gold Cups. Venetia Williams trains the gelding who has shown his liking for Haydock by winning the Peter Marsh Chase for the last two seasons.
Eldorado Allen would have a slight fitness advantage if running here after finishing second in the Charlie Hall Chase in October. He finished third in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March before disappointing in the Betway Bowl. Track specialist Bristol De Mai could have one final tilt at equaling Kauto Star’s all-time record of four Betfair Chase wins but is likely to struggle at the age of eleven. Frodon completes the list of six 2022 Betfair Chase entries but is not a confirmed runner at this stage.
The Betfair Chase has a history of repeat winners and it will be a major surprise if A Plus Tard does not join the list in 2022. He was a very impressive winner 12 months’ ago and looked even better when romping home in the Gold Cup. He is expected to confirm Cheltenham form with Protektorat.
Betfair Chase Tips: A Plus Tard 3.00 Haydock (Saturday 19th November)
There is only one race on the minds of connections after winning the Betfair Chase and that is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Nine of the last twelve winners of the Betfair Chase have gone on to run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup the same season.
A Plus Tard is the only one of those to complete the double with Bristol De Mai (2018) and Lostintranslation (2019) both finishing third at Cheltenham. Silviniaco Conti (2012) and Cue Card (2015 and 2016) both fell in the Gold Cup. Kauto Star won both races in 2006-2007 for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. He won his second Gold Cup after unseating his rider at the last fence in this race in 2008, leaving Snoopy Loopy to emerge a shock 33-1 winner.
A Plus Tard is a general 4-1 second favourite to defend his crown at Cheltenham in March 2023. A second Betfair Chase victory would cement his position in the market while Protektorat is currently a 33-1 chance for the Gold Cup.
There are some key statistics about the Betfair Chase that you should know before betting on the race. While these trends come with no guarantee that they will unearth the winner, you are more likely to find horses that will go well in the big one at Haydock than by paying no heed to them:
The Betfair Chase 2018 was a small affair field-wise, but it was a keen betting heat with Nicky Henderson looking for his first win in the race with the classy Might Bite going off as the even-money favourite.
His long-time rival Native River helped to give the race a very high-quality look and was next in at 5/2, which left the 2017 winner Bristol De Mai jumping away at a very attractive looking 13/2. This was a surprise, as Nigel Twiston-Davies’ gelding was somewhat of a Haydock specialist and was in fact unbeaten in three spins around the track at that point.
Indeed, Bristol led early and again after the sixth. Daryl Jacob clearly did not feel the need to make the pace, allowing Native River to go on mid-race before closing in and jumping to the lead for the third time four from home. Having extended his lead approaching the last fence, he pinged it and drew four lengths clear to score impressively in the race for the second time.
Although it doesn’t have a very long history, Betfair Chase winners tend to be high class and so here’s a look at all previous scorers in the event, along with how they fared subsequently at the Cheltenham Festival.
2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up A Plus Tard was a heavily-backed favourite to kick off the new National Hunt season in style. He and Rachael Blackmore had only been denied Gold Cup glory by stable companion Minella Indo and was the clear form choice.
His main market rival was the popular grey Bristol De Mai, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. He had already won the Betfair Chase in 2017, 2018 and 2020 and was seeking to equal the record four victories set by Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011). Also in the line-up were 2020 King George VI Chase runner-up Waiting Patiently and Gold Cup sixth Royale Pagaille.
Bristol De Mai and Royale Pagaille disputed the lead for a long way but neither jumped particularly fluently. Rachael Blackmore was content to bide her time on the favourite until a good leap at the fourth last took him on to the heels of the leaders. A Plus Tard quickly asserted and drew clear to win by 22 lengths from Royale Pagaille with Chatham Street Lad finishing a remote third. Bristol De Mai and Waiting Patiently were both pulled up.
🥇 1st A Plus Tard 11-10 Favourite
🥈 2nd Royale Pagaille 13-2
🥉 3rd Chatham Street Lad 28-1
🐎 7 ran
👨🏻💼Winning Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
🏇 Winning Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
Bristol De Mai regained his Betfair Chase crown in the Haydock mud on an emotional day for jockey Daryl Jacob. As rain fell on Merseyside that turned the going from soft to heavy shortly before the off, he was backed into 9/4 joint second-favourite. Adopting his customary front-running tactics, Bristol De Mai made most of the running with only 16/1 shot Bellshill heading him between the fourth and fifth fences. When fellow supported horse Clan Des Obeaux came upsides two out, he looked as though he might be in trouble. However, Bristol De Mai found more when asked by his ride and was back in front jumping the last and stayed on best on the run-in for a two-length victory.
That gave Nigel Twiston-Davies his fourth Betfair Chase winner, beating his son Sam who was on board Paul Nicholls representative Clan Des Obeaux. Bristol De Mai joined Cue Card as a triple victor in the race with only the great Kauto Star enjoying more success in it. The front two pulled a long way clear of the weak 7/4 favourite Lostintranslation. The 2019 Betfair Chase winner didn’t fire for Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power in the conditions, and was effectively beaten rounding the home term. Losintranslation was 45 lengths adrift of Clan Des Obeaux, but just held on for third from 28/1 outsider Keeper Hill from the Warren Greatrex stable, who had a late jockey change owing to Adrian Heskin’s injury with Jonjo O’Neill replacing him. New Sandy Thomson result Bellshill finished tailed off.
Harvey Mayson has worked as a horseracing writer, blogger and tipster for several of the UK’s leading bookmakers and numerous other specialist racing sites. Harvey has great knowledge of horse racing history and was the author of the Paddy Power Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National blog for three years. Harvey’s blog at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 included a 100,000-1 ante-post four-timer while he correctly forecast the first four winners on Grand National day in 2015. He also tipped three Grand National winners in a row and eleven consecutive winning nap selections.