Jump titans set to clash again in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park

Native River and Might Bite, the two highest-rated staying chasers in training, headline 14 entries revealed today for the £200,000 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday, November 24, Betfair Chase Day.
The first G1 of the British Jump season is also the initial contest in The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, which offers a £1-million bonus for any horse who can follow up victory in the Betfair Chase by taking the G1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham on March 15.
Native River, trained by Colin Tizzard on the Dorset/Devon border and owned by Brocade Racing, ended the 2017/2018 campaign as the leading chaser in Great Britain and Ireland, with a rating of 176 following a thrilling all-the-way victory over Might Bite in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The eight-year-old was restricted to just two appearances last term, also winning the G2 Betfair Denman Chase for a second time at Newbury in February, and is a 5/2 chance with Betfair to make a winning seasonal return in the Betfair Chase.
Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father Colin, revealed: “Native River is in really good form. The plan is to run to Haydock in the Betfair Chase and we are really pleased with him.
“He has come back into the yard and he actually looks bigger and stronger than he has ever looked before.
“Native River came back into the yard two weeks after everything else, because he was due to run later than some of our other horses.
“We will run him slightly more this year as injury held us up until the second half of the season with him last time so we could only really focus on the Gold Cup.
“He is not ground dependent and, a bit like a lot of the top-class horses, he can handle any ground.
“If he won the Betfair Chase at Haydock, there is the £1-million bonus and that might tempt us to run him in the King George at Kempton. A spring campaign would be followed with another tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup as his target.
“It was amazing to win the Gold Cup and we are going to try and win another one!
“This season, we can target four or five races, including maybe Aintree or Punchestown if he came out of Cheltenham well.
“Native River didn’t win an Irish point-to-point or a bumper. Every time we have run him, he has improved and become a better horse – we don’t think he’s stopped improving.
“We think there is still more to come, which is exciting.”
Native River & Might Bite 
 

 
Native River  
 
Prior to his Cheltenham reversal, Might Bite had captured the 32Red King George VI Chase and the Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old ended last campaign with an emphatic win in the G1 Betway Bowl at Aintree in April. The 172-rated chaser is also a 5/2 with Betfair to notch up a fifth G1 victory in the Betfair Chase.
Might Bite
Other leading Betfair Chase entries include Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies, Betfair’s 9/4 Favourite), who powered to a 57-length victory in last season’s renewal and was runner-up to Might Bite in the Betway Bowl.
 

 
Bristol De Mai winning the 2017 Betfair Chase
Native River’s stable companion Thistlecrack (16/1) looked to have the world at his feet after winning the 32Red King George VI Chase as a novice in 2016, but has made just three subsequent starts, most recently when finishing fourth behind Might Bite in the Kempton Park highlight last season.
An Irish-trained horse has yet to win the Betfair Chase, but Ireland’s champion owner Gigginstown House Stud is responsible for four entries this year including the Gordon Elliott-trained Shattered Love (14/1), successful in the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at The Festival™ in March.
Elliott may also be represented by last year’s third Outlander (50/1) and Don Poli(25/1), both G1 winners over fences, while lightly-raced seven-year-old Disko (25/1), twice successful at G1 level as a novice chaser, could line up for Noel Meade.
Paul Nicholls has dominated the Betfair Chase with six victories in the extended three mile, one furlong contest and the Somerset-based trainer has three contenders – G1 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase winner Black Corton (33/1), Betway Bowl thirdClan Des Obeaux (16/1) and Politologue (12/1), who captured Aintree’s G1 JLT Melling Chase on his latest outing and could step up in trip.
The entries are completed by G1 Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase second Ms Parfois(Anthony Honeyball, 33/1), G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase runner-up American(Harry Fry, 33/1) and Un Temps Pour Tout (David Pipe, 33/1), a dual winner of the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at The Festival™ who missed last season.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr commented today: “The entries look really strong with Native River and Might Bite renewing rivalry.
“Add last year’s winner, Bristol De Mai, Clan Des Obeaux, and the four Irish entries headed by the JLT winner Shattered Love and it all adds up to a vintage renewal for the 14th running of the famous race.
“Last year’s winner Bristol De Mai currently heads the betting at 9/4 just ahead of old foes, Might Bite and Native River, who are both 5/2.
“In terms of the Triple Crown, at 20/1, we rate Might Bite as the most likely to emulate Kauto Star and win a £1 million bonus with Native River a 33/1 chance.”
Betfair Chase Day also features the £100,000 G3 Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle, won last year by subsequent G1 Long Walk Hurdle victor Sam Spinner.
Betfair Chase – Betfair prices:
9/4 Bristol De Mai 9/4; 5/2 Might Bite, Native River; 12/1 Politilogue; 14/1 Shattered Love; 16/1 Thistlecrack, Clan Des Obeaux; 25/1 Disko, Don Poli; 33/1 American, Ms Parfois, Black Corton, Un Temps Pour Tout; 50/1 Outlander
Each-way 1/5 odds, 1-2-3
 
The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown specials:
12/1 Any horse to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
20/1 Might Bite to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
33/1 Native River to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
50/1 Thistlecrack to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
100/1 Bristol De Mai to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
150/1 Politologue to win The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
7/2 Native River to be placed in all three races in The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown
A total of 39 entries for the three-mile contest include three-time G1 winnerUnowhatimeanharry (Harry Fry, 20/1).Betfair’s 6/1 joint favourites are Soul Emotion (Nicky Henderson), last seen when taking a valuable handicap hurdle on the final day of last season at Sandown Park, and Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle), who was impressive when defying top-weight in a competitive handicap hurdle at Aintree last month.
Weights for the Betfair Exchange Hurdle will be revealed on Wednesday, November 14.
Betfair Exchange Hurdle – Betfair prices:
6/1 Soul Emotion, Paisley Park; 7/1 First Assignment; 8/1 Chef Des Obeaux; 10/1 No Hassle Hoff, Hear No Evil; 12/1 Captain Cattistock, Pobbles Bay; 14/1 Moon Racer; 16/1 Calett Mad, Un Temps Pour Tout, Wotzizname, Theos Charm, Ramses De Teille, Folsom Blue, Settimo Milanese; 20/1 Unowhatimeanharry, Nautical Nitwit, Townshend, Crucial Role, Springtown Lake, Dragon D’Estruval, Aux Ptits Soins; 25/1 Monksland, Kris Spin, Holly Bush Henry, Shades Of Midnight, Weebill, Mr Clarkson, Aaron Lad; 33/1 Dell Arca, Bobo Mac, Rathlin Rose, Present Ranger, Closing Ceremony; 40/1 Russian Bill, Milrow, Holdbacktheriver
Each-way 1/4 odds, 1-2-3-4
Haydock Park has provided the finest horseracing and many memorable moments since 1899. The Sunday Times’ Hugh McIlvanney looks at what makes Haydock Park ‘A People’s Racecourse’ – the film is available to view here.
A film outlining the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown can be viewed here.
A Might Bite vs Native River promo film – the Rematch can be viewed here.
 
The Betfair Chase (Grade 1)
£200,000 Total Prize Fund. 3m 1f 125y. 3.00pm Haydock Park, Saturday, November 24. For five-year-olds and upwards, which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including the day prior to confirmation. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible providing the handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including the day prior to confirmation would merit a minimum rating of 130. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Weights: 11st 7lb Mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed Tuesday, November 6 (14 entries), five-day confirmation & £10,000 supplementary entry stage November 19, final declaration stage, 10.00am, November 22.
Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
AMERICAN (FR)
8
The Jago Family Partnership
Harry Fry
BLACK CORTON (FR)
7
The Brooks, Stewart Families & J Kyle
Paul Nicholls
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)
7
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
CLAN DES OBEAUX (FR)
6
Mr & Mrs P Barber, G Mason, Sir A Ferguson
Paul Nicholls
DISKO (FR)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Noel Meade IRE
DON POLI (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
MIGHT BITE (IRE)
9
The Knot Again Partnership
Nicky Henderson
MS PARFOIS (IRE)
7
M R Chapman
Anthony Honeyball
NATIVE RIVER (IRE)
8
Brocade Racing
Colin Tizzard
OUTLANDER (IRE)
10
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
POLITOLOGUE (FR)
7
John Hales
Paul Nicholls
SHATTERED LOVE (IRE)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
THISTLECRACK
10
John and Heather Snook
Colin Tizzard
UN TEMPS POUR TOUT (IRE)
9
Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew
David Pipe
 
14 entries
4 Irish-trained
The Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle
(Grade 3)
£100,000 Total Prize Fund. 3m 58y. 2.25pm, Haydock Park, Saturday, November 24. For four-year-olds and upwards. Entries closed Tuesday, November 6 (39 entries), five-day confirmation stage November 19, final declaration stage 10.00am November 22. Penalties, after November 11, 2017, for each hurdle race won 5lb. Maximum field of 17 plus 2 reserves.
Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
AARON LAD (IRE)
7
Off The Clock Partners & Dr Richard Newland
Dr Richard Newland
AUX PTITS SOINS (FR)
8
John Hales
Dan Skelton
BOBO MAC (IRE)
7
C & M Baker, K Ibberson, H Pearman
Tom Symonds
CALETT MAD (FR)
6
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK
5
Peter Hart
Paul Nicholls
CHEF DES OBEAUX (FR)
6
Sullivan Bloodstock Limited
Nicky Henderson
CLOSING CEREMONY (IRE)
9
The High Altitude Partnership
Emma Lavelle
CRUCIAL ROLE
6
David Fox
Dan Skelton
DELL’ ARCA (IRE)
9
Prof Caroline Tisdall
David Pipe
DRAGON D’ESTRUVAL (FR)
5
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nicky Henderson
FIRST ASSIGNMENT (IRE)
5
The DTTW Partnership
Ian Williams
FOLSOM BLUE (IRE)
11
Core Partnership
Gordon Elliott IRE
HEAD TO THE STARS
7
T F F Nixon
Henry Daly
HEAR NO EVIL (IRE)
6
Sue Magnier
Dan Skelton
HOLDBACKTHERIVER (IRE)
6
W J Evans Racing
Evan Williams
HOLLY BUSH HENRY (IRE)
7
P Middleton, M Lowther
Phil Middleton
KRIS SPIN (IRE)
10
Six To Five Against
Kerry Lee
MILROW (IRE)
5
John Cocks & Roger Liddington
Sophie Leech
MONKSLAND (IRE)
11
Mrs Patricia Hunt
Noel Meade IRE
MOON RACER (IRE)
9
Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew
David Pipe
MR CLARKSON (IRE)
6
Pipe’s Prospectors
David Pipe
NAUTICAL NITWIT (IRE)
9
Birrafun 2
Philip Kirby
NO HASSLE HOFF (IRE)
6
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Dan Skelton
PAISLEY PARK (IRE)
6
Andrew Gemmell
Emma Lavelle
POBBLES BAY (IRE)
8
David M Williams
Evan Williams
PRESENT RANGER (IRE)
5
Dick and Mandy Higgins
Dan Skelton
RAMSES DE TEILLEE (FR)
6
John White & Anne Underhill
David Pipe
RATHLIN ROSE (IRE)
10
Fergus Wilson
David Pipe
RUSSIAN BILL (IRE)
8
Joseph Kirwan
Noel Meade IRE
SETTIMO MILANESE (IRE)
6
ValueRacingClubcouk
Dr Richard Newland
SHADES OF MIDNIGHT
8
The Potassium Partnership
Sandy Thomson
SOUL EMOTION (FR)
5
John & Barbara Cotton
Nicky Henderson
SPRINGTOWN LAKE (IRE)
6
Tim Syder
Philip Hobbs
THEO’S CHARM (IRE)
8
Michael O’Shea
Nick Gifford
TOWNSHEND (GER)
7
Million in Mind Partnership
Nigel Twiston-Davies
UN TEMPS POUR TOUT (IRE)
9
Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew
David Pipe
UNOWHATIMEANHARRY
10
J P McManus
Harry Fry
WEEBILL
6
Mrs R J Skan
Olly Murphy
WOTZIZNAME (IRE)
8
C J S Horton
Harry Fry
 
39 entries
3 Irish-trained

 

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