Paul Nicholls is no stranger to having a winner on a big Saturday. Growing up, as i started to follow racing, I was always amazed by his super star chaser Kauto Star. Somehow, Walsh and Nicholls could produce this horse season in season out. His longevity at the top was truly amazing. The Betfair Chase in 2011 was his penultimate win where he beat Gold Cup winner Long Run impressively. But my favourite win in this race came when he somehow got up to beat Imperial Commander by a nose in a photo that still to this day looks too close to call.
Will he produce again in the Betfair Chase 2020?
— Great British Racing (@GBRacing) November 21, 2018
Clan Des Obeaux
This years renewal has seen a little criticism regarding the size of the field. But, looking back at this race, it has tended to lean towards a smaller number of runners in recent years. I think we have three quality contenders that will make a great race for us to enjoy.
Lostintraslation heads the betting and is the right favourite to me. Last years winner went on to flop in the King George, before rediscovering some form with a good third in the Gold Cup last March. His jumping just seems to really capture National Hunt fans imagination. I think he will be hard to beat.
Bristol De Mai is a real standing dish in this race and his Haydock chase record of four wins and a second (two of those wins coming in a Betfair Chase) has to give his supporters huge hope he can claim a third today. My concern is he is just a slightly older horse than rivals in the race and perhaps is arriving into the Aurtom of his career. For me, of the three competing to head the market, he is the one I am finding eaiest to see pass over on this occasion.
The final of the three at the right end of the betting is Clan Des Obeaux. The King George winner has a clear target to regain that crown. Given that race is just four and half weeks away, you understand why Nicholls has told the media that his eight year old is hard fit and very much ready to go ahead of his seasonal return.
I am finding it very hard to split Lostintranslation and Clan Des Obeaux at the prices and, with more rain due, I am going to have a small play on Clan Des Obeaux who has just shown more to me to demonstrate he can handle significant ease in the ground. With plenty of rain expected i can see the going ending up close to heavy on Saturday.