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The lowdown on the leading contenders for Haydock's big race
24 Nov 2017 | Racingpost.com 

 

Six have been declared for the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, which will be missing Gold Cup winner Sizing John on account of the testing conditions. Stuart Riley provides a lowdown on the key contenders left in the race

Bristol De Mai

What form is he in heading to Haydock?
Very good. He accounted for stablemate Blaklion on his seasonal return in the Charlie Hall at the beginning of this month and as just a six-year-old there is every chance he is a stronger, more mature horse this season after his summer break.

What's he got going for him in a Triple Crown bid?
He is two from two at Haydock, winning a pair of Grade 2s by a combined 54 lengths. You can't win the Triple Crown without triumphing in the first leg and as the favourite for Saturday's race he is currently deemed the most likely to be the one in pursuit of the £1 million bonus.

What’s potentially the weak link?
Spring ground. He is two from two on heavy ground and zero from three on good. The best two Racing Post Ratings of his career have come on soft ground and, even if we have a very wet winter and he does the Betfair Chase/King George double he is unlikely to get his conditions come Cheltenham in March.

How do bookmakers rate his chance this Saturday?
5-4 is the best price on offer

Cue Card

What form is he in heading to Haydock?
He fell at the fifth-last on his only start this season in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby. He was travelling well enough to that point and was bang in contention.

What's he got going for him in a Triple Crown bid?
No horse has come closer to the treble since Kauto Star retired. He's a three-time Betfair Chase winner, has won a King George and is a two-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival. In 2015 he won the first two legs and then fell at the third-last when looking like going mighty close in the Gold Cup. A class act.

What’s potentially the weak link?
His age? He's 11 rising 12. His jumping? He's fallen on two of his last three starts. His jockey? Paddy Brennan has been replaced by young Harry Cobden, who is as inexperienced as he is talented – this is just his third full season with a licence and he is yet to win a Grade 1 chase.

How do bookmakers rate his chance this Saturday?
9-4 second best behind Bristol De Mai

Outlander

What form is he in heading to Haydock?
Good form. He was beaten 42 lengths on his comeback in a Grade 3 at Punchestown but he put that behind him with a gutsy half-length success over Road To Respect in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal at the start of the month.

What's he got going for him in a Triple Crown bid?
His trainer Gordon Elliott is fast proving himself an absolute genius, there does not seem to be much he cannot do, and it would not be a total surprise if he pulled it off.

What’s potentially the weak link?
Outlander. As commendable an animal as he is, he is three from 12 in Grade 1s over his career, and while it would not be a major shock were he to win one of the three legs it would be arguably the greatest feat of his trainer's stellar career if he could turn him into the season's dominant force.

How do bookmakers rate his chance this Saturday?
Third in the pecking order at a general 6-1.

 

 
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