Betfair Chase the highlight at Haydock Park
Haydock Park stages the racecourse’s biggest National Hunt card of the year on Saturday afternoon with the highlight being the G1 Betfair Chase.
Boasting a prize fund of £200,000, the extended three mile and one contest has been won by the likes of four-time champion Kauto Star and three-time scorer Bristol De Mai and five runners go to post for this year’s renewal.
You can find the latest odds with the sponsor’s Betfair. Before racing, there is also a charity race taking place with six runners going to post for the Betfair Race to the World Cup Stakes. Six horses, named in the one-off event after countries competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in a five-furlong event.
The Betfair Chase has an off time of 3.00pm and is live on ITV Racing. The undoubted star of the show is A Plus Tard for Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
The eight-year-old was an emphatic winner of the 2021 running by 22 lengths, slamming his six rivals in a bewildering performance. Beaten a short-head by Galvin in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, A Plus Tard produced one of the great Gold Cup performances of recent times when powering to a 15-length success in Jump Racing’s Blue Riband event in March at the Cheltenham Festival.
De Bromhead’s stable star faces four rivals in the extended three miles and one furlong event, including three-time winner Bristol De Mai, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who remarkably lines up in this contest for the sixth time. Ryanair Chase third Eldorado Allen remains unexposed over staying trips and runs for Joe Tizzard.
King George hero Frodon, who returned to action with a cracking win in the Badger Ales Handicap Chase at Wincanton is another interesting rival.
However, the stiffest challenge looks set to come from Protektorat with Dan and Harry Skelton. Part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, the seven-year-old is already a Grade One scorer over fences and produced a seismic performance when landing the Many Clouds Chase last term. He went on to finish best of the British challenge when a fine third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, over 17 lengths behind A Plus Tard. However, he remains an unexposed chaser capable of further progression.
Elsewhere on Saturday’s card, Hitman looks tough to beat in the Betfair Graduation Chase at 1.50pm. Paul Nicholls’ charge was a fine second in the Old Roan Chase on his comeback and is the clear class angle here. The progression Minella Drama and the thoroughly unexposed Erne River can give him the most to think about.
The big betting race of the day looks to be the £125,000 Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at 2.25pm. Charles Byrnes looks to have a fascinating runner in the shape of Run For Oscar who landed a gamble on the Flat last time out when running away with the Cesarewitch. A three-time winner over hurdles, he commands plenty of respect back on the level.
The classy Might I finished behind Constitution Hill and Jonbon last term and is respected having filled second in Grade One company on his final start last season as a novice.
Paul Nicholls saddles Complete Unknown who was second in Listed company at Perth in April and is another of interest. Good Risk At All impressed on his comeback at Carlisle and is another to be taken seriously along with smart mare Get A Tonic and the progressive Botox Has who shaped with promise on his seasonal return at Haydock last time out.
12.10pm - Tahmuras
12.40pm - Manothepeople
1.15pm - Benson
1.50pm - Hitman
2.25pm – Good Risk At All
3.00pm – A Plus Tard
3.35pm – Lord Du Mesnil