The Betfair Chase

(Registered As The Lancashire Chase)

A Grade 1 Class 1 Steeplechase

A Grade 1 Steeplechase for 5 year olds and up over 3 miles 1 furlong at Haydock Park Racecourse



The Betfair Chase is the first Grade 1 Chase of the season and is run over three miles and is open to horses of 5 years and older.

Registered at the Lancashire Chase and has been run since 2005.

More . .


This years race looks absolutely first class with some of the best chasers past and present taking part. Three times winner of this race and dual Gold Cup winner Kauto Star runs again this year but is now 11 going on 12 and needs to pull out a big performance today. Also running today is last seasons Gold Cup winner Long Run who has done little wrong although still only six.
Diamond Harry is also entered and this will be his first run if fit after his withdrawal from the Charlie Hall a few weeks ago.
The smart Grey Nacarat is also takes his chance..
Two more very smart chasers battle out again, Weird Al and TIme for Rupert. On their last meeting in the Charlie Hall Chase Weird Al was the winner giving Time for Rupert 3lbs and a three and a half length beating.
So all in all this looks a small but vintage renewal of this race. There is a lot to weigh up in this race although Long Run looks a good favorite this is a competitive event and this could be the one time when he is vulnerable indeed with a few of these with longer term targets could this be an opening for some horse who has been trained with this race as his seasons target? The trouble is that most of these horses are so consistent it is difficult to rule any out.
Inevitably one or more will be be disappointing today as every horse sooner or later puts in a poor performance but which one. Looking at the ratings for the race Long Run on 182 and improving with Kauto Star now down to 172 from a high of 193 are the two at the top but then the others are all close with spreads from Diamond Harry at 166 down to Time for Rupert at 159. So even if you rule out Kauto Star who is going down the ratings you would only need Long Run to have an off day and then almost anything could win.
The main thing that will sort out the men from the boys in this race I think will be the pace. Although we may not get the full championship pace in this race there is no doubt that with so many good horses they would not want a falsely run race and with Nacarat and Time for Rupert who like to make the running we should be in for a good pace throughout.


1 11P/1- Diamond Harry 8 11-7 Nick Williams James Reveley
2 133-P Kauto Star 11 11-7 Paul Nicholls R Walsh  
3 3/311- Long Run 6 11-7 Nicky Henderson Mr S Waley-Cohen
NON-RUNNER 431-44 Nacarat 10 11-7 Tom George
4 21F342 Pure Faith 7 11-7 Peter Bowen Tom O'Brien  


7213-3 Rubi Light 6 11-7 Robert Alan Hennessy .
5 115-2 Time For Rupert 7 11-7 Paul Webber Will Kennedy
6 18P-1 Weird Al 8 11-7 Donald McCain Timmy Murphy

Race Preview

Diamond Harry

Top class chaser who's last run was when winning the HENNESSY GOLD CUP at Newbury this time last year. Diamond harry is a very exciting prospect having been a really good hurdler who progressed well to novice chasing and then went on to win the HENNESSY. Been off the track now for a year but his return is looked forward to by everyone. Will he retain his ability? well that's what everyone wants to know.
Connections will not run the horse until they feel he is 100%. He is a very exciting prospect and will add much to the race if he runs.

Kauto Star

Top class first rate chaser who does not owe anybody anything. Twice winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup (07,09) Also finished twice more in the frame. Four times winner of the KING GEORGE VI CHASE (06,07,08,09) and second in the race last season to Long Run. Three times winner of this race (see below) the list just goes on and on. This horse has won or been placed 29 times in the 33 races he has completed. He is one of the modern day greats however these French import horses usually tail off their careers earlier than the British or Irish types.
His trainer said earlier this week that he thinks Kauto Star is really well and working very well so that has to be taken into account. 11 now rising 12 he can't have any improvement but would not have to improve but would simply have to run up to his best to win this but is that asking too much?
Anyway you look at this if Kauto is well then he should be good enough to make the frame and if any of these are not 100% then he will make them pay. Kauto Star has made mistakes in his jumping in the past and does tend to hit a fence in his races but this happens less and less these days. He is a really high starting price for a horse that has won so much and it would be great to see him win here again today. Another point in his favor is that Ruby Walsh will ride him here and presumably chose this horse over Master Minded who runs at Ascot for the same connections.

Long Run

Best chaser in the country last season improving all the time. He is another French import who came here after a string of group hurdle and chase wins in France. He joined Nicky Hendersons stable and won his first two novice chases, the first was the grade 1 WILLIAMHILL.COM FELTHAM NOVICES' CHASE at Kempton by 13 lengths and the second the grade 2 TOTESPORT.COM KINGMAKER NOVICES' CHASE by 12 lengths.
He was then sent to the Festival and ran in the RSA chase finishing 3rd 7 lengths and a short head behind Weapon's Amnesty and Burton Port respectively.
Started last season tentatively in the PADDY POWER GOLD CUP CHASEat Cheltenham when his jumping was not good and he eventually finished 3rd almost 5 lengths behind Little Josh.
Then he lined up in the KING GEORGE VI CHASE at Kempton on boxing day where he was on song and won the race very easily beating two of today's challengers, Kauto Star by 19 Lengths (3rd) and Nacarat but by 24 lengths (4th)
We did not see him again then until The Gold Cup, when despite making a few mistakes he won really well beating Denman by 7 lengths and Kauto Star by 11 lengths.
Very much a worthy favorite here today and although a winner of 12 and placed in 3 of his 18 starts he is not unbeatable but is a very formidable runner.


This top class chaser and a consistent type who ran well in good races last season. A good 4th to Long Run in the King George at Kempton. The horse then went on to win the grade 1 Totesport bowl at the Aintree festival and finished the season with a 4th in the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup.
First proper run of the season came in the BET365 Charlie Hall, where he finished a tired 4th. Should come on for that run but will it be good enough to make up for the 30 lengths he was beaten by Weird Al (gave 4lbs) or the 27 length he was behind Time for Rupert (gave 7lbs) I think that it is unlikely and would be some performance.

Pure Faith

A nice consistent type who started the season with three disappointing runs but ran well in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree where he finished 2nd behind Albertas Run but beat the very smart Master Minded. It is difficult to access that form fully as Master Minded just did not shine that day. I feel that he could be something of a dark horse and will progress but this looks a very different task in this highly competitive race.


Consistent progressive sort who has been improving with every run. Runs most of his races in Ireland but on last visit to the Festival finished a good 3rd to Albertas Run.

Time For Rupert

A good hurdler who had a good novice season last year culminating in a good 5th in the very competitive RSA chase. Another progressive sort who continued to improve in the BET365 Charlie Hall chase when he was the beaten fav and second to a very good performance by Weird Al. Weird Al had to give him 3lbs that day so Time for Rupert will have to improve on that performance but these two could run close again today. He may be a bit better if there is a little more cut in the ground.

Weird Al

Following a really good novice season this horse was a touch disappointing last season. After a good dead heat win in the COLIN PARKER MEMORIAL INTERMEDIATE CHASE he was significantly upped in class and was found wanting, he finished 8th in the Hennessy and then pulled up in the Gold Cup. Well thought of in his new stable and showed his class when winning the BET365 Charlie Hall chase. So he is on form and fit and well. He has entries in the Hennessy aand the King George so this is a good stepping stone for him to access how good he really is against this top class field.



1st 133-P Kauto Star 11 11-7 Paul Nicholls R Walsh  
2nd 3/311- Long Run 6 11-7 Nicky Henderson Mr S Waley-Cohen
3rd 18P-1 Weird Al 8 11-7 Donald McCain Timmy Murphy
4th 11P/1- Diamond Harry 8 11-7 Nick Williams James Reveley
5th 115-2 Time For Rupert 7 11-7 Paul Webber Will Kennedy
PU 21F342 Pure Faith 7 11-7 Peter Bowen Tom O'Brien  

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