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Betfair Chase 2016: Silviniaco To Continue Good Race Record

The five-runner turnout for last year’s Betfair Chase was slightly disappointing given the new £1 million bonus - for winning the race as well as the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup - that was introduced at the beginning of last season.

Betfair Chase 2016: Silviniaco To Continue Good Race Record

The five-runner turnout for last year’s Betfair Chase was slightly disappointing given the new £1 million bonus - for winning the race as well as the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup - that was introduced at the beginning of last season.

Silviniaco Conti winning the Betfair Ascot Chase (Grade 1)
Silviniaco Conti winning the Betfair Ascot Chase (Grade 1) Picture:Pat Healy Photography

That didn’t stop the race being one of the more significant races of 2015/16, however, with Cue Card bouncing back to a full revival in fine style, beating Silviniaco Conti Horseform by seven lengths.

Cue Card Horseform, of course, went on to win the King George at Kempton, and was still in the running for the bonus until a rare jumping lapse at the third last in the Gold Cup sent him to the deck for just the second time in his chasing career. With Timeform ’s highest-rated chaser of last season, Don Cossack, side-lined through injury, Cue Card tops the ratings for this season’s Betfair Chase and unsurprisingly heads the market. As many have come to learn, writing off Cue Card is not necessarily a wise move, but there may be a few willing to take him on in this year’s race given that both Irish Cavalier Horseform and Menorah Horseform had his measure in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby this time around. Cue Card was below his best in the Charlie Hall, but it is worth pointing out that he came on plenty (from a ratings perspective) from his reappearance last season, and was conceding race fitness to both the winner and the second. It would be no surprise to see him reverse that form here.


This year’s Betfair Chase has plenty of extra spice added thanks to the presence of returning Gold Cup hero Coneygree Horseform, who capped an outstanding 2014/15 season by becoming the first novice to win the Gold Cup since 1974. He maintained his unbeaten record over fences with a satisfactory return to action in a listed race at Sandown last season before picking up an injury, and has not been seen since. He remains open to further improvement (still has a Timeform ‘p’ attached to his rating) and is a fascinating contender.

Third place in the market with most bookmakers is Silviniaco Conti who, like Cue Card, is bidding for a third win in the race. Like Cue Card and Coneygree, he also has some questions to answer following a season in which he was below his best for the most part, despite the fact he landed a seventh Grade 1 win in the form of the Ascot Chase. He may not quite be the force of old, but his second at Down Royal on his reappearance this season was encouraging enough (jumped well for a long way out in front), and it is definitely worth pointing out that he has been beaten on his reappearance in five of the last six seasons.

Others to mention favourably include God’s Own, who was a dual Grade 1 winner last season (at Aintree and Punchestown) and is set to try a new trip on Saturday, and Seeyouatmidnight, who returned to action with a sparkling round of jumping in a two-runner listed chase at Carlisle last month. As a second-season chaser, Seeyouatmidnight could yet have more to offer and is certainly worth a try back at this level (rare sloppy round of jumping at his only other try at Grade 1 level in the RSA chase last season). A potential fight for the lead with Coneygree might not be ideal for him, though.

Overall, this looks a tricky betting event, with the three at the head of the ratings/market all having some sort of questions to answer, and plenty of the others in behind having a lot to find on form. Though he is probably past his very best, Silviniaco Conti looks a shade big at odds of around 8/1, given that he usually comes on plenty for his first run of the season and has an excellent record in the race reading 1312. He could offer an interesting each-way angle against Cue Card and Coneygree.

Recommended bets:

Back Silviniaco Conti each-way in the Betfair Chase at 8/1
Timeform




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