The Betfair Chase is now established as one of the biggest National Hunt races of the entire season and thousands of fans flock to Haydock Racecourse every November to watch it.
Established in 2005, the Betfair Chase continually attracts some of the best chasers in the training from the UK, Ireland and on some occasions, even France.
The Betfair Chase used to form the first leg of the £1m Jockey Club sponsored Triple Crown, which was awarded to any horse that could win the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival next March.
Unfortunately that bonus was withdrawn in 2020/21 but that triumvirate of chases, to some degree, still forms the backbone to the road to Cheltenham. Some punters still follow the outcome of these first two races before they bet on Cheltenham.
Now in its 17th year, the Betfair Chase has produced a highly esteemed roll of honour.
The people’s favourite Kauto Star won the race four times (2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011) with his last win lifting the roof off the Haydock stands. A statue was even erected in his honour at the track.
As well as saddling Kauto Star to win this race on more than one occasion, Paul Nicholls also trained Silviniaco Conti to win the highly coveted Lancashire Chase (registered name) twice.
The Colin Tizzard-trained Cue Card almost pulled off the hat-trick of wins required to land the Triple Crown bonus but he fell when holding every chance in the Gold Cup. He managed to win the Betfair Chase a total of three times in his glittering career.
This year the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey, Bristol De Mai, will attempt to continue his love affair with the Merseyside track by capturing his fourth Betfair Chase.
Betfair Chase Winners
2020 – (7:03.63) Bristol De Mai 9-y-o 11-7 9/4 (Daryl Jacob/Nigel Twiston-Davies)
2019 – (6:43.50) Lostintranslation 7-y-o 11-7 5/4F (Robbie Power/Colin Tizzard)
2018 – (6:28.60) Bristol De Mai 7-y-o 11-7 13/2 (Daryl Jacob/Nigel Twiston-Davies)
2017 – (7:01.00) Bristol De Mai 6-y-o 11-7 11/10F (Daryl Jacob/Nigel Twiston-Davies)
2016 – (6:22.00) Cue Card 10-y-o 11-7 15/8F (Paddy Brennan /Colin Tizzard)
2015 – (6:14.70) Cue Card 9-y-o 11-7 7/4 (Paddy Brennan /Colin Tizzard)
2014 – (6:10.70) Silviniaco Conti 8-y-o 11-7 100/30 (Noel Fehily/Paul Nicholls)
2013 – (6:10.10) Cue Card 7-y-o 11-7 9/1 (Joe Tizzard/Colin Tizzard)
2012 – (6:23.30) Silviniaco Conti 6yo 11-7 7/4 (Ruby Walsh/Paul Nicholls)
2011 – (5:54.30) Kauto Star 11-y-o 11-7 6/1 (Ruby Walsh/Paul Nicholls)
*KEY - year, time, horse name, age, weight, odds, jockey, trainer*
Key Betfair Chase Statistics
Age: 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between 6 and 9.
Price: Surprisingly only 3 of the last 10 winners were won by the favourite, however 9/10 winners came from the top 3 in the horse race odds.
Last Run: 4/10 winners won on their last run before the Betfair Chase, 8/10 winners had their last run within the last 27 days. 6/10 winners ran in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Rating: 8/10 winners had a rating of 167 or higher.
Grade 1 Wins: 10/10 winners had at least one win in a Grade 1 race.
Season Form: 8/10 winners had at least one run that season, 4/10 winners had at least one win that season.
The leading trainer in the Betfair Chase over the last 16 renewals is Paul Nicholls who has won the race an impressive six times in all.
Those six victories came from two of his major stable stars - Kauto Star in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011, plus Silviniaco Conti in 2012 and 2014.
Other trainers with multiple wins in the Betfair Chase are Nigel Twiston-Davies (4 wins) & Colin Tizzard (4 wins).
The only two trainers to break the sixteen year monopoly of Nicholls, Tizzard and Twiston-Davies in this have been Robert Alner, with the inaugural winner in 2005 - Kingscliff, and Peter Bowen in 2008 with the surprise winner – Snoopy Loopy.
Big name trainers such as Nicky Henderson, Jonjo O'Neill and Alan King have all failed to land a blow thus far in this 3m1½f Grade One contest.
The last 16 renewals of the Betfair Chase have seen Daryl Jacob and Paddy Brennan come out with three winners apiece.
Daryl Jacob’s winners have all been aboard Bristol De Mai (2017, 2018, 2020), while Paddy Brennan’s winners have been with Imperial Commander (2010), and Cue Card (2015, 2016).
The only “non-retired” jockey to win this Haydock feature in recent years is Robbie Power, who steered the Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation home in 2019.
Prominent jockeys who have been unsuccessful in this event, despite having had a number of rides in it, are: Tom Scudamore (6), Sam Twiston-Davies (4) and Brian Hughes (2).
Betfair Chase 'Trial' Races
There have been a total number of seven winners of this race who ran at Wetherby last time out, namely in the Charlie Hall Chase.
The second most is Aintree, where four winners of the Betfair Chase raced at Haydock’s sister racecourse last time out.
Over the last 16 renewals, the biggest priced winner was Snoopy Loopy in 2008 who scored at odds of 33/1 under Seamus Durack for Peter Bowen. Over the same period of time, seven winning favourites have obliged.
At the time of writing, the first five in our online betting market are: A Plus Tard (9/4), Bristol De Mai (7/2), Royale Pagaille (4/1), Next Destination (6/1), Waiting Patiently (8/1).
Our antepost NAP of the day is the Venetia Williams-trained Royale Pagaille.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*