Betfair Chase Date is Saturday, 21 November 2020
Racecourse: Haydock Park
Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase
Age Of The Horses: For Five Year Olds And Up
Distance: 3 Miles, 1 Furlong & 125 Yards
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2020 Betfair Chase Result
What Happened in 2020?
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.
Betfair Chase General Info
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 2020 being due to take place on Saturday 21st November.
2020 Betfair Chase Runners
Following the five-day declarations stage, just five remain in the field for the 2020 Betfair Chase at Haydock. These include the horses that have won the race in each of the last three years, so it is a small but select bunch:
- Bellshill (Sandy Thomson)
- Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
- Clan Des Obeaux (Paul Nicholls)
- Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex)
- Lostintranslation (Colin Tizzard)
2020 Betfair Chase Favourites
Last year’s Betfair Chase scorer Lostintranslation will no doubt be back to make a defence of his crown. His trainer, Colin Tizzard, has targeted this race in recent years and enjoyed plenty of success in it. Now aged eight, Lostintranslation actually remains unexposed in staying chases. When winning the Betfair Chase in 2019, it was only his second start under Rules over three miles or further.
While the Flemensfirth gelding hasn’t got his head in front since, that doesn’t quite tell the full story. Lostintranslation simply wasn’t travelling in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park next time out and an issue with his breathing came to light after the race. A wind op followed and he went straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup without any prep.
In the blue riband event of the Cheltenham Festival, Lostintranslation was a fine third and held just 1½ lengths by Al Boum Photo and Santini. Other than the King George run which you can put a line through, he has finished in the first three of every other chase. That is why Lostintranslation heads the ante post betting at 5/2.
Bristol De Mai (7/2)
Although put in his place by Lostintranslation when seeking a Betfair Chase hat-trick, the fact remains that Bristol De Mai has a formidable record at Haydock. His form figures at the course reads 11112. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has three wins in the race and this has to be this horse’s major target for the campaign. Cheltenham has never really been Bristol De Mai’s track, but he ran well enough there when chasing home Santini in the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day 2020.
He does appear held by Lostintranslation on both last year’s Betfair Chase and 2020 Cheltenham Gol Cup form, but a bold bid at his happy hunting ground cannot be ruled out. There is always the option of changing tactics with the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned nine-year-old gelding. Bristol De Mai does like to dictate pace, so Daryl Jacob will have to decide if a different approach is called for. That fabulous record at Haydock alone commands this horse respect and that’s why he’s 7/2 here.
Clan Des Obeaux (7/2)
Paul Nicholls used to farm this race in the early years after it was established, and the sole representative from his Ditcheat stables is Clan Des Obeaux. He has often needed his first run of the season and, with no disrespect to the Betfair Chase intended, he could come on for what he does here in his big target, winning the King George VI Chase for the third consecutive season.
Clan Des Obeaux has the same official rating as Lostintranslation, but that has been earned on runs going right-handed at Ascot and Kempton rather than an anti-clockwise course like Haydock. He actually ran in this race two years ago and was only fourth behind Bristol De Mai, but did win at the venue in a graduation chase on the same card in 2017.
On official figures and all known form, Clan Des Obeaux is the only horse capable of capitalising on the market principals if they both fail to fire. Whether he is fully wound up for a Grade 1 race first time out remains to be seen. His record fresh is questionable but, unlike Cheltenham, there is actually some evidence he will act at this course. That’s why Clan Des Obeaux is 7/2 here.
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Betfair Chase Stats & Trends
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:
- Most successful horse – National Hunt equine legend Kauto Star won a record four renewals of the Betfair Chase (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011) in his glittering career. Multiple winners are extremely common in this race with Cue Card (2013, 2015 and 2016), Silviniaco Conti (2012 and 2014) and Bristol De Mai (2017 and 2018) all enjoying more than one victory.
- Leading jockeys – Only retired riding great Ruby Walsh had four successes in this race in the saddle. Of active jockeys, Paddy Brennan has three Betfair Chase wins, on Imperial Commander and twice aboard Cue Card. Daryl Jacob has two victories in the race too.
- Leading trainers – Put Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti together, and that adds up to six Betfair Chase triumphs for Ditcheat handler Paul Nicholls. However, that trainer hasn’t tasted victory in this race since 2014. In more recent years, Colin Tizzard saddled three of the last five winners and has four successes in total. Nigel Twiston-Davies has had three Betfair Chase victories in his training career too.
- Age – With so many multiple winners, it is difficult to construct an age profile for this race. The most recent horses to earn victory have been younger types, however, aged six or seven.
- Favourites – Market leaders have a good record in the Betfair Chase and this may have something to do with the size of the field. Three of the last four winners were joint or outright favourites, so concentrate on the head of the betting here.
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2019 Betfair Chase Results
What Happened in 2019?
An ice-cool ride from Robbie Power saw Lostintranslation scalp Haydock specialist Bristol De Mai and land the first Grade 1 steeplechase of the British National Hunt season. Colin Tizzard previously saddled Cue Card to win three renewals of this race and this was another fine training performance. Lostintranslation came into the Betfair Chase off the back of Listed success in an intermediate event at Carlisle over a shorter trip but it put him spot on for this.
Power bided his time and chose to ride his charge cold while fellow 5/4 joint-favourite Bristol De Mai, who had won the race in the last two campaigns, tried to make most of the running. Once 6/1 shot Frodon, the previous season’s Ryanair Chase winner, and Charlie Hall scorer Ballyoptic were beaten, it was between the big two in the betting.
Lostintranslation loomed upsides Bristol De Mai at the penultimate fence travelling strong and was in front at the last. He stayed on well up the run-in, prevailing in the Betfair Chase by 1½ lengths. The front two pulled 25 lengths clear of Frodon for Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost with 12/1 outsider Ballyoptic, a stable companion of the runner-up, trailing in last.
Past Betfair Chase Winners
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:
|2019||Lostintranslation||7||Robbie Power||Colin Tizzard||3rd in Gold Cup|
|2018||Bristol De Mai||7||Daryl Jacob||Nigel Twiston-Davies||3rd in Gold Cup|
|2017||Bristol De Mai||6||Daryl Jacob||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Did not race|
|2016||Cue Card||10||Paddy Brennan||Colin Tizzard||Fell in Gold Cup|
|2015||Cue Card||9||Paddy Brennan||Colin Tizzard||Fell in Gold Cup|
|2014||Silviniaco Conti||8||Noel Fehily||Paul Nicholls||7th in Gold Cup|
|2013||Cue Card||7||Joe Tizzard||Colin Tizzard||Did not race|
|2012||Silviniaco Conti||6||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||Fell in Gold Cup|
|2011||Kauto Star||11||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||Pulled-up in Gold Cup|
|2010||Imperial Commander||9||Paddy Brennan||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Did not race|
About the Author
Jamie Clark has been around horse racing and betting his entire life. His father and godfather ran a trackside bookmaker's pitch at Market Rasen Racecourse in Lincolnshire for many years. Jamie was Sports Editor for Coral's digital platforms between 2014 and 2017, and has since become a successful freelancer.