In what promises to be an exceptional renewal of the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park tomorrow, Bobs Worth is taken to triumph. However, this will be no walkover for last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, as five of the top eight in the betting for the blue riband event next March look all set to line up.
What a line up it is too, as last year’s Betfair winner Silviniaco Conti, David Pipe’s exciting young grey Dynaste, Ryannair Chase victor Cue Card and dual King George hero Long Run are all standing their ground at the latest declaration stage, making this a potentially mouth-watering clash to savour.
Trainer Paul Nicholls won his fifth Betfair Chase in seven years when Silviniaco Conti impressed last year, and the gelding looked to have every chance in the Gold Cup at the Festival, until falling close to home. He will no doubt be fit and ready for this weekend’s encounter and is already proven at the track.
Dynaste side-stepped last week’s Paddy Power with this race in mind and with David Pipe landing a near 6,000/1 four-timer at Cheltenham last Saturday, his horses are clearly eating the right hay at home.
This will be a tough ask for Dynaste as he is barely out of the novice ranks, yet he has the scope to improve considerably and his bold front-running tactics (should they be employed again) and electric jumping could have some of these off the bridle a long way from the finish. With a clear round he has to be thereabouts at the finish.
Cue Card is one of two of the fancied runners to have had a start this term having finished third behind Somersby in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter earlier this month. On the face of it, his six-length defeat seemed a shade disappointing at the time. However, he was giving the winner a lot of weight that day and Somersby is no slouch.
Furthermore, Colin Tizzard’s exciting prospect made a clumsy error early on in that race that seemed to disrupt his rhythm, and I expect him to be more accurate with his fencing around the Merseyside track. Beware of any rain though, as Cue Card is a much better animal on a sound surface.
Trainer, Nicky Henderson saddles both Bobs Worth and Long Run, and I believe that one sure way of making a lot of money this year and next is simply to back all of the Lambourn handler’s horses in non-handicaps.
The Betfair Chase is, of course, such an event and after Long Run’s dismal show at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall, the Seven Barrows maestro is probably counting on Bobs Worth to give him the chance of his first win in the race.
A winner of nine of his twelve races to date, Bobs Worth won the Hennessy first time out last season, before just racing the once more when winning the Gold Cup, so we know that he goes well fresh. Barry Geraghty takes the ride and with a safe round of jumping he should be hard to beat.
Bob Morton is a British journalist currently based in Singapore. He has a first class degree in Media and was previously a correspondent for Ladbrokes Racing.