Betfair Chase Bonzanza – The Star Names On Show For Haydock’s Grade 1

Bristol De Mai is one of a number of classy runners entered in Saturday's Betfair Chase.Bristol De Mai is one of a number of classy runners entered in Saturday's Betfair Chase.

The stars on show for this weekend’s Betfair Chase

It’s Betfair Chase weekend at Haydock as the track plays host to the prestigious 3m Grade 1 which has been won by the likes of Kauto Star, Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card in recent years. This weekend’s renewal of Haydock’s Jumps feature looks an especially strong renewal, and here at Racing Tips, we have identified a few of the big names set to line up in Saturday’s race.

A PLUS TARD – Henry De Bromhead

This year’s market for the Betfair Chase is topped by A PLUS TARD.

The Irish raider spent the majority of his early career running over distances of 2m-2m4f, yet he reinvented himself as a stayer to be feared last season. A last gasp Savills Chase victory at Leopardstown proved his effectiveness for 3m, and the 7yo put up an improved performance in defeat when subsequently chasing home stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

This race was earmarked as an early-season target by connections afterwards, and A Plus Tard has proven effective when travelling over to Britain in the past, having run out a dominant 16l winner at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

He won’t be inconvenienced by the forecast ground at Haydock this weekend, and an official rating of 172 leaves him clear on these terms.

BRISTOL DE MAI – Nigel Twiston-Davies

There are seemingly now three things certain in life, Death, Taxes, and BRISTOL DE MAI’s presence in the Betfair Chase.

This popular grey has produced form figures of 1-1-2-1 in the last four renewals of the Betfair Chase, two of those victories coming on bottomless ground conditions. He had the subsequent dual Grade 1 winning Clan Des Obeaux behind last year and a failure to complete in the Grand National latest looks best forgiven as he had a huge weight on his back and would have found the ground lively enough.

Concerns for backers centre around a relatively fast surface expected this weekend compared to some previous renewals, but this is without doubt his Gold Cup and as such expect him to have been trained to the button for this by his in-form connections.

ROYALE PAGAILLE – Venetia Williams

The transformation from the ROYALE PAGAILLE of the 2019/20 season to the one we saw last term was quite incredible, with that coinciding with a decision to run twice at Haydock.

This Rich Ricci owned grey looked a potential Graded operator masquerading as a handicapper when demolishing his rivals in the Peter Marsh here in January, and on the back of that, he was sent off at odds of 14/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

On the face of it, his distant sixth achieved there looks disappointing, but considering that he lost two shoes and finished lame, it could be worth putting a line through the effort.

A return to Haydock for today’s prize is likely to have been at the forefront of connections’s minds ever since that Cheltenham run, yet they would undoubtedly have been hoping for a traditional bottomless surface and quick ground would put his participation under threat.

Big Race Verdict

A fascinating renewal of the Betfair Chase in prospect, yet with the ground expected to be riding quicker than ideal it appears to have set things up for A PLUS TARD, who was last seen chasing home stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Today’s race has been earmarked by connections ever since, and with upwards of 6lb in hand on these rivals on official ratings it would take a significant underperformance from the Cheveley Park owned 7yo for him not to be taking this.