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 . .
For 5yo+ Weights 11st 7lb Allowances mares 7lb
Coneygree overcame 40 years of history when he became the first novice winner for four decades of the Cheltenham Gold cup in 2015 . In the following season, he ran only once when he was a good winner at long odds-on at Sandown in November 2015. It was a real shame that he became injured shortly after and has had to take over a year on the sidelines. Coming back from injury today, if he is fully fit he will take some beating as his record over fences shows five from five. He will not have his regular jockey today, as Nico De Boinville is injured, but he has a first-class replacement as the champion jockey Richard Johnson takes the reins. he also loves soft ground which is a bonus today.
Last year's winner Cue Card looks to make it three wins as the also won this in 2013. Cue Card had an excellent season last season with four wins from six starts. He fell in the Cheltenham Gold cup when going really well. He is a top-class chaser and the highest rated in this race today. He has the benefit of a previous run, as he took part in the Charlie Hall Chase at the end of last month. He didn't show is best that day without actually running badly and if that put him spot-on he will have a real chance today.
Seeyouatmidnight won three times over fences last season and looked impressive. That was until the RSA Chase at Cheltenham. He made a bad mistake at the first and perhaps that put paid to his race because he finished well down the field finishing seventh of eight. He is a young horse and should have plenty of improvement to come. He has had the benefit of a recent race when he ran in a 2 runner event at the end of October. He won that race very easily against the odds on favourite. Looks as if he could be a formidable force this year, and if that is the case you will need to win today.
The 10-year-old Silviniaco Conti is also a two times winner. He won this race in 2012 and also 2014. He had a very mixed season last season where he was pulled up in the King George and then went on to win a grade 1 race at Ascot in February. He was then tried in the Grand National and things didn't really go well for him as he was pulled up after the 13th fence. I'm sure connections are hoping for a better season and he started off with a run in Ireland at the start of this month with a good second against the very smart Valseur Lido. That would have put him spot-on for today and he's interesting runner in what could be quite an open race.
The Charlie Hall Chase winner, Irish Cavalier is another who comes here in good form. He had a good season last year but always found a few too good for him in his races. However, the end of April he put up a stunning performance in Ireland taking the Grade A Guinness handicap Chase. This season he started reasonably in a handicap Chase at Chepstow before going on to win the Charlie Hall Chase in good style. A young seven-year-old who may have his sights set on bigger prizes this year. Looks a real bright prospect.
French raider Vezelay form is much below what we would expect for this sort of race. Up against a couple of really good top-class chasers, he has it all to do today. These young French horses often jump very well and given that it is completely bottomless ground forecast for the race upsets do occur. But even given that he would be a very surprising winner.
|1||111/1-||Coneygree||9||11-7||Mark Bradstock||Richard Jiohnson||170|
|2||1F1-43||Cue Card||10||11-7||Colin Tizzard||Paddy Brennan||176|
|3||5F-151||Irish Cavalier||7||11-7||Rebecca Curtis||Jonathan Moore||160|
|5||1173-1||Seeyouatmidnight||8||11-7||Sandy Thomson||Brian Hughes||154|
|6||2P1P-2||Silviniaco Conti||10||11-7||Paul Nicholls||Noel Fehily||168|
|7||47742||Vezelay||7||11-7||Emmanuel Clayeux||Felix De Giles||155|
|1||2||1F1-43||Cue Card||10||11-7||Colin Tizzard||Richard Johnson|
|2||1||111/1-||Coneygree||9||11-7||Mark Bradstock||Aidan Coleman|
|3||7||47742||Vezelay||7||11-7||Emmanuel Clayeux||Felix De Giles|
|4||6||2P1P-2||Silviniaco Conti||10||11-7||Paul Nicholls||Noel Fehily|
|P/U||5||1173-1||Seeyouatmidnight||8||11-7||Sandy Thomson||Brian Hughes|
|P/U||3||5F-151||Irish Cavalier||7||11-7||Rebecca Curtis||Jonathan Moore|
In the build up to the race the betting market seemed to have this race set as a two horse contest.
During the race this actually proved to be the case. From the off the former Gold cup champion Coneygree, who was coming back after a long layoff took up the running in bold style. He ran well throughout the race but was headed four from home and eventually finished second.
The winner Cue Card was looking comfortable throughout the race. He was held up in a good position for most of the race before taking up the lead four from home as he was comfortably ridden out and stayed on really well to win by 15 lengths.
Irish Cavalier was held up at the back but was never really going well and lost touch and was tailed off before for being pulled up four from home.
Seeyouatmidnight was prominent but made mistakes during the race and was well behind when he was pulled up.
The French contender Vezelay was held up in the race and made some headway towards the closing stages. He did seem to relish the very heavy ground and finished third, the best position he had throughout all the race.
The Paul Nicholls runner and former twice winner of this race, Silviniaco Conti was prominent early on in the race but weakened towards the end of the race and finished tired and over 40 lengths behind the winner in fourth place.