The Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock will be the first opportunity for us to see some of the leading chasers in the three-mile division making their return to action after having the summer off. This race also kicks off the opening leg of the Chase Triple Crown, with the King George VI Chase at Kempton and Cheltenham Gold Cup then set to follow.
Credit: Racing UK via Twitter
On the evidence of what we saw at the back end of last season in this division, the horse that really stood out was Sizing John as, not only did he prevail in the biggest race of the campaign, the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival, he proved that his success was no fluke and that he was entirely comfortable with this distance when he landed the Punchestown Gold Cup in Ireland.
Jessica Harrington’s runner often had to settle for second or third place in some of the leading 2m races over fences, largely due to the fact he kept running into Douvan, who was just in a different league. Since stepping up 3m and beyond, though, his rating has gone up sharply and there could be a lot more to come. Some punters are confident that he could complete the Chase Triple Crown this season. He is available at 5/4 in the horse racing betting at Haydock for the Betfair Chase and if he does succeed at the Lancashire track, his odds will be slashed to follow it up with victories at Kempton and Cheltenham.
Outlander is a horse who generally shows his best form when fresh early in the season. That was evident earlier this month when he claimed the Grade One JNWine.com Chase at Down Royal where he beat some good Irish horses including Our Duke and Road to Respect. Gordon Elliott’s runner showed his class in the Grade One Lexus Chase last season during the Festive meeting at Leopardstown, therefore, he has proven himself at this top level on more than one occasion. The only concern is that his form in the UK is not as good as Ireland; however, at odds of 10/1, he is worth taking a chance with against the market leaders.
Credit: Racing Post via Twitter
Tea for Two caused an upset last season at the Grand National meeting at Aintree when he scored in the Grade One Bowl Chase, where he beat the red-hot favourite Cue Card. The former winner of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton was fresh at the Merseyside track as he unseated his regular pilot Lizzie Kelly at the first fence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Nick Williams’ runner may be able to take advantage if some of the big guns in the Betfair Chase fail to produce their best for their seasonal reappearance. The eight-year-old has been consistent over the last couple of years since switching to fences. At 14/1, he is an excellent each-way proposition and one in which he is not without a chance of landing the first place prize money.
Likeliest Winner: Sizing John
Value Bets: Outlander @ 10/1 and Tea For Two @ 14/1