Founded in 2005, the Betfair Chase, registered as the Lancashire Chase, is a three-mile contest featuring 18 steeplechase fences. It was introduced by bookmaking heavyweights Betfair with a view to promoting a new ‘Betfair Million’ initiative in which the horse that won the three biggest chase’s of the season, the Betfair Chase, King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup, would gain a £1 million bonus.
One year after its introduction, the ‘Betfair Million’ was claimed by jump racing great Kauto Star as the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding went on to triumph in each of the three premier steeplechase races that season. Bookmakers Betfair later ended their £1 million incentive in 2009. During the 2015/2016 National Hunt season, the Jockey Club introduced their own £1 million initiative for the three leading races, naming it jump racings Triple Crown.
Despite the Betfair Chase boasting a short history, the race has quickly climbed the National Hunt hierarchy and is now viewed as one of the leading trials on route to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Haydock may not possess the demands of Prestbury Park, but the track’s left-handed set-up gives connections a guide to whether their horse can handle such a task.