Betfair Chase: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Bristol de Mai
Can Bristol de Mai win a fourth Betfair Chase?

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday and pick out their 1-2-3.

Betfair Chase
15:00 Haydock, Saturday
Live on ITV

1. A Plus Tard (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore)

(Timeform weight-adjusted rating: 188)

Top-class chaser who won the Savills Chase at Leopardstown (by half a length from Kemboy) last season, and proved better than ever when one and a quarter lengths second to Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on his final start. He is the stand out on form and has been well supported for this in recent weeks. He has finished runner-up on his seasonal reappearance for the last three years, but may not need to be at his best to land this.

2. Bristol de Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Daryl Jacob)

(180)

Top-class chaser at best who has won three of the last four renewals of this race. He wasn't at his best, racing wide before eventually being pulled up in the Grand National at Aintree his final start. His record round here is excellent, though, and he will find this test much more to his liking. He would ideally appreciate more cut in the ground, but he will have been aimed at this race for a while and looks the obvious danger to A Plus Tard.

3. Chatham Street Lad (Michael Winters/Sean Quinlan)

(169)

Smart chaser who won handicaps at Ballinrobe (conditionals), Cork, the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and a Grade 3 novice at Limerick last season. Seemingly failed to see the race out on his first start for seven months in the Munster National Handicap Chase at last-named course last time, but wasn't persevered with once held. Still, has plenty to find on form at this level.

4. Clondaw Castle (Tom George/Jonathan Burke)

(168)

Smart handicap chaser who won at Newbury and the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton in 2020/21. Shaped as if needing run on return from seven months off when a well-beaten third to Fusil Raffles in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last time, and is entitled to come on for that now, but he is likely to come up short again upped further in grade.

5. Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey/David Bass)

(174)

High-class chaser who won an intermediate chase at Carlisle and the 1965 Chase at Ascot (by five lengths from Itchy Feet) in 2020/21. He bled when pulled up in the Ryanair Chase (Festival Trophy) won by Allaho at Cheltenham on his final start in March, so that is a slight concern, but he looked good at Ascot last season, and his record when fresh is encouraging, too.

6. Next Destination (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden)

(172p)

Shaped very well on his return from a two and a half year absence when runner-up in a Grade 2 hurdle at Wetherby on debut for this yard in October last year and progressed nicely over fences after, winning Ladbrokes John Francome Novices' Chase at Newbury and the Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick (by one and a half lengths from Fiddlerontheroof). Lost little in defeat when second to Galvin in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his final start and is the type to make up into a top-level chaser this season. Commands respect.

7. Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams/ Charlie Deutsch)

(177)

High-class chaser who won twice at this track last season, notably the Peter Marsh Chase in heavy ground (by 16 lengths from Potters Legend). He jumped sketchily when well held in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last time, but did lose a shoe and finished lame. The return to this venue will be in his favour and he remains with potential, but he would prefer conditions to be more testing.

8. Waiting Patiently (Christian Williams/Brian Hughes)

(178)

High-class chaser who produced a good effort when two and a quarter lengths second to Frodon in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on his return last season, but he didn't really progress from that in another light season. He has since switched to the up-and-coming Christian Williams yard, though, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on (still unexposed at this trip).


Timeform Analyst Verdict

A Plus Tard holds a clear edge on form and is fancied to become the first Irish-trained victor of this Grade 1 and thwart Bristol de Mai's bid for a record-equalling fourth success. Nigel Twiston-Davies has his string in great nick though, so his course specialist seems sure to push Henry de Bromhead's Gold Cup runner-up close. Next Destination and Imperial Aura look the pick of the rest.

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