Cue Card and Coneygree headline 22 entries for the £200,000 Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on day two of the Betfair Chase Weekend, Saturday 19th November.

Run over three miles, the Betfair Chase is the first leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. Any horse who wins the Betfair Chase and then goes on to land the G1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on 17th March will earn a bonus of £1 million.

Cue Card (Colin Tizzard) captured the Betfair Chase for the second time last year with an emphatic 11-length victory over Silviniaco Conti (Paul Nicholls). He subsequently wore down Vautour to win the King George VI Chase and fell at the third last when challenging for the lead in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Cue Card is the market leader with Betfair, despite finishing only third to Irish Cavalier (Rebecca Curtis) on his comeback in the G2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on 29th October. Wetherby runner-up Menorah (Philip Hobbs) and the fourth home, Blaklion (Nigel Twiston-Davies), winner of the G1 RSA Chase at Cheltenham, are also entered in the 2016 Betfair Chase.

The Betfair Chase is the likely starting point for 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Coneygree (Mark Bradstock). The nine-year-old became the first novice since Captain Christy in 1974 to win Jump racing’s Blue Riband but missed most of last season through injury.

Seeyouatmidnight (Sandy Thomson) has been given an entry following his impressive 12-length success over Bristol De Mai in the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle on 30th October.

Gordon Elliott accounts for three of the four Irish-trained entries, with his team headed by 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup third Don Poli. The Co Meath handler has also put in two other ex-Willie Mullins recruits in Outlander and Roi Des Francs.

Progressive chaser Fine Rightly (Stuart Crawford IRE) is a potential dark horse for top honours after a strong surge last season. The eight-year-old finished third to Carlingford Lough in the G1 Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in January before winning a minor race at Down Royal and ending the 2015/2016 campaign with a facile 10-length victory in a G3 chase over three miles at Cork in March.

Crawford, who is based in Co Antrim, said: “Fine Rightly was meant to run this weekend at Down Royal but the ground is going to be too quick for him. He wants plenty of cut and so really the Betfair Chase looks the next logical target.

“He had a nice break over the summer and has done very well. He is pretty fit and more or less ready to go.

“He stepped up last season because I put him in a better type of race and hopefully he can continue to improve. With a bit of luck, I am hoping we can go close to winning a Grade One with him.

“He has always had plenty of ability, but the problem with him, especially in his younger days, was that he was too exuberant and because of that we were running him over shorter trips. He is settling much better now and looks better the further he goes, which is what his pedigree tells us.

“Haydock looks a good target because the track and ground will hopefully be in his favour. Although he won twice going right-handed in the spring, he is probably better going the other way. He will put up a good show if he gets his ground.”

There has yet to be an Irish-trained winner of Betfair Chase.

Britain’s champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has six Betfair Chase triumphs to his name. Dual winner Silviniaco Conti and Scottish Grand National scorer Vicente are among a five-strong team this time around.

Other high-profile entries include multiple G1 scorer God’s Own (Tom George), who is set tackle three miles for the first time this season, and More Of That (Jonjo O’Neill), winner of the 2014 World Hurdle.

The Betfair Chase

Grade 1, £200,000 Total Prize Fund. Haydock Park, 3.00pm. Saturday 19th November, Three miles (3m 24y). For five-year-olds and upwards. Weights: 11st 7lb each, mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed 1st November, entries revealed 2nd November (22 entries). Five-day confirmations and £10,000 supplementary stage 14th November, final declarations 17th November.

Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
BALLYNAGOUR (IRE)
10
Allan Stennett
David Pipe
BLAKLION
7
S Such & C G Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies
CONEYGREE
9
The Max Partnership
Mark Bradstock
CUE CARD
10
Jean Bishop
Colin Tizzard
DON POLI (IRE)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
DYNASTE (FR)
10
John White
David Pipe
FINE RIGHTLY (IRE)
8
Patricia Duffin
Stuart Crawford IRE
GOD’S OWN (IRE)
8
Crossed Fingers Partnership
Tom George
HOLYWELL (IRE)
9
Gay Smith
Jonjo O’Neill
IRISH CAVALIER (IRE)
7
A McIver
Rebecca Curtis
LE MERCUREY (FR)
6
Chris Giles & Colm Donlon
Paul Nicholls
MENORAH (IRE)
11
Diana Whateley
Philip Hobbs
MORE OF THAT (IRE)
8
J P McManus
Jonjo O’Neill
OUTLANDER (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
ROI DES FRANCS (FR)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)
7
The Stewart Family
Paul Nicholls
SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT
8
Mrs A M Thomson
Sandy Thomson
SILVINIACO CONTI (FR)
10
Chris Giles & Potensis Bloodstock Ltd
Paul Nicholls
UN TEMPS POUR TOUT (IRE)
7
Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew
David Pipe
VEZELAY (FR)
7
P Joubert
Emmanuel Clayeux FR
VIBRATO VALTAT (FR)
7
Axom XLIII
Paul Nicholls
VICENTE (FR)
7
John Hales & Ian Fogg
Paul Nicholls
22 entries
4 Irish-trained
1 French-trained

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.

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