Stuart Williams takes an in-depth look at the runners and odds for the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock.
- The Grade 1 Betfair Chase takes place at 15:00 at Haydock on Saturday 21st November.
- Lostintranslation is currently the favourite to win the race.
A small but select field will go to post for the Grade 1 Betfair Chase, and the five contenders boast no fewer than 12 Grade 1 victories between them, amassing £1,569,600 in prize money from a combined total of 122 races.
Although the race is in it's relative infancy compared to some Grade 1 contests, the Betfair Chase has already cemented it's place in the staying chase programme thanks in no small part to the victories of past favourites such as Kauto Star, who was successful four times between 2006 and 2011, Imperial Commander, who chased home Kauto Star in 2009 before going one place better in 2010, Silviniaco Conti, who triumphed in both 2012 and 2014, and the much loved Cue Card, who was successful in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Paul Nicholls is the most prolific trainer to date with 6 previous victories. While Colin Tizzard and Nigel Twiston-Davies boast 4 and 3 successes respectively. Indeed, this Grade 1 prize has gone the way of one of the trio in each of the last 11 years, and all hold a strong hand tomorrow courtesy of Clan Des Obeaux, Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai respectively.
Betfair Chase Odds & Betting
|Best Odds||% of bets in last 24 hours|
|Clan Des Obeaux||5/2||20%|
|Bristol De Mai||5/2||12%|
Prices and betting correct as of 13:00 on 20/11/2020
Betfair Chase 2020 Runners
The logical place to start is Lostintranslation, who was a length and a half too good for Bristol De Mai in this race last year and is currently a short-priced favourite to double up tomorrow.
Colin Tizzard's slick-jumping eight-year-old displayed huge promise as a novice when repeatedly butting heads with multiple Grade 1 winner Defi Du Seuil over intermediate trips before stepping-up to 3 miles at Aintree and comfortably disposing of the previous month's RSA Chase hero Topofthegame in Grade 1 company.
That promising novice campaign prepared Lostintranslation perfectly for his debut season in open company, and he deployed his customary fluent fencing to devastating effect when routing smart opposition on his seasonal reappearance in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle, demonstrating his ability to go well when fresh and his clear enthusiasm for jumping fences.
He was then mightily impressive when cruising around Haydock before effortlessly making up ground and passing Bristol De Mai a shade sooner than intended, which gives an indication of just how well he was travelling under a visibly confident Robbie Power.
Installed as favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the back of that taking performance, it was a success that suggested that Colin Tizzard's latest chasing star could carry all before him in the staying division last winter. However, clearly things didn't go to plan thereafter, as the Flemensfirth gelding was pulled-up in the King George and swiftly sent for wind surgery, which undoubtedly helped him to secure a solid third placed finish in the Gold Cup in March - on a week when the Tizzard horses were running well below form.
Lostintranslation looked like the winner when arriving at the last, and it is to his credit that he performed so well when his stable were clearly out of sorts. It was a mighty effort when you also factor in his less than ideal preparation, and he is the solitary horse in this field who remains open to further improvement over staying trips after just four outings over three miles or further.
This will be Lostintranslation's second outing since undergoing wind surgery and he will also sport a tongue-tie on his return to action. He is arguably the one to beat based on his success of 12 months ago.
Bristol De Mai
Dual previous winner Bristol De Mai will undoubtedly prove popular given his liking for the track and the forecast rain, which may provide ideal conditions for the popular grey tomorrow.
The Simon Munir and Isaac Soude owned nine-year-old boasts from-figures of 11112 at Haydock, and he may well be allowed to dictate matters from the front as both of his chief market rivals will are normally content to take a lead, which could prove a very fruitful situation if Daryl Jacob gets the fractions right on a horse that he clearly knows very well.
The Saddler Maker gelding appears to have been around forever having announced his arrival in Britain by landing the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow as a three-year-old. However, he is only nine rising ten this season and his bold showing in this race 12 months, in addition to his sound second placed effort behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini in the Cotswolds Chase in January, clearly demonstrates that he is no spent force and remains a factor in this company in spite of a not winning a race since doubling up in this contest in 2018.
Bristol De Mai was making his seasonal reappearance on that occasion and therefore also possesses the ability to go well fresh. And, given his affinity with this race, you can bet your last pound that he will be trained to the minute in his bid to bring-up the hat-trick.
Clan Des Obeaux
Clan Des Obeaux could only place fourth of five behind Bristol De Mai on his only previous outing in this Grade 1 contest in 2018. However, that race was being used as a springboard to the King George VI Chase, and Paul Nicholls is adamant that he has his dual King George winner spot on for this race this year.
While the top-class eight-year-old is undoubtedly best known for his impressive victories in Kempton's festive showpiece, it should it not be forgotten that he has won at Haydock previously, and it seems that a flat track is far more important than a right-handed track to the classy son of Kapgarde.
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That said, Clan Des Obeaux's last three victories have all been achieved on right-handed tracks, and his record when fresh (14242) also tempers enthusiasm, for all that his eleven-time champion trainer is clearly bullish and remains in red-hot form.
Connections clearly felt that wind surgery was a worthwhile procedure during the summer, which may go some way to explaining their increased optimism heading into his seasonal reappearance. However, it is worth noting that Clan De Obeaux has achieved form-figures of 4528 over trips in excess of three miles, therefore he may not want conditions to become too testing, which would obviously place an increased emphasis on stamina.
Bellshill is seemingly written off at the prices and it's easy to see why following a disappointing final campaign with Willie Mullins. However, he is a dual Grade 1 winning chaser who landed the Irish Gold Cup in February 2019, therefore he could easily perform better than the market suggests on his first outing for Sandy Thompson, albeit he has 15lbs to find with the top two in the betting.
Keeper Hill is also a fair performer on his day and he does boast winning form around Haydock. However, he has 21lbs to find with both Lostintranslation and Clan Des Obeaux and he would need to step-up markedly from his fourth placed effort in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Betfair Chase Tip: Lostintranslation
Weighing up the pro's and cons of all, I'm happy to side with last years victor LOSTINTRANSLATION, who ticks all of the necessary boxes and could easily have further improvement to come this season. He was a cosy winner of this race 12 months ago and the Tizzard yard have started to hit form just at the right time, therefore he can kick-start his campaign in the best possible way and record a second success in a race littered with repeat winners.
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