The Betfair Chase An Expert Guide

The Betfair Chase takes place at Haydock Racecourse annually in November. It is classified as a Grade 1 National Hunt Chase, which was a status it claimed instantly upon its inauguration in 2005. The prize up for grabs in the Betfair Chase as a stand-alone event is worth £200,000 (as of 2017) with £112,540 of it going directly to the winner. Despite the brevity of its history, this event is quite popular due in part to the purse size and top-class competitors including the legendary Kauto Star, Cue Card, Silviniaco and Bristol de Mai.

The Betfair
Chase
Explained

This non-handicap steeple chase is held on a left-handed course at Haydock over a distance of three miles, one furlong and one hundred twenty-five yards. There are a total of nineteen fences to contend with. It is open to qualifying thoroughbreds of both genders aged five or older with a weight requirement of 11st-7lbs for males and 11st for females respectively.

fact file

location: Haydock Racecourse

grade: Grade1

race type: Steeple Chase

Honour Roll of the Betfair Chase at Haydock

The Betfair Chase is by far one of the most demanding steeplechase races to take place at Haydock Park Racecourse. Although it is officially registered as the Lancashire Chase, it's commonly referred to by its sponsorship name. This race was introduced to the racing calendar in 2005 and it is truly a race for the new generation. Running over the grueling distance of three miles and littered with nineteen fences (all of them notorious for their high levels of difficulty), the Betfair Chase is guaranteed to deliver breathtaking action every time.

Originally the Betfair Chase was part of an incentive, from the bookmaker Betfair, called the Betfair Million. This format required a horse to win the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase, and the Cheltenham-Gold in order to qualify for a £1 million bonus. However, this incentive was dropped after the first few years of the running of the Betfair Chase. This has done nothing to diminish the popularity of this outstanding racing event, however!

Records

This non-handicap steeplechase is filled with all the drama and top-athleticism expected from an event hosting the best thoroughbreds of modern national hunt racing (as of 2017).

  • A horse by the name of Kauto Star, dominated the event with four wins in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011. This record number of victories makes him the most successful horse to run in the Betfair Chase in its brief history.

  • The horse with the fastest time since 2005 is Kauto Star who won with a time of 5m: 54.30sec in 2011.

  • The most dominant trainer is currently Paul Nicholls with six wins from Kauto Star between 2006 and 2011 to Silvianiaco Conti in 2012 and 2014. Those combined wins amount to about half of the races held since its inauguration.

  • The most successful jockey is Ruby Walsh who won four times - three with Kauto Star and once with Silvaniaco Conti.

  • The longest priced winner in this race's history was the 2008 winner Snoopy Loopy with odds of 33/1.

  • The horse who won by the widest margin is Bristol de Mai in 2017 by 57 lengths.

  • The narrowest margin winner is Kauto Star who won by a nose in 2009.

Best Moments

Despite being just over a decade old, this race has featured prestigious horses including Kauto Star, Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti and Bristol de Mai. Roughly half of all races held since 2005 have been won by favourites mostly consisting of rising stars in modern racing. Below are a few of the highlights of the past decade (as of 2017).

jockey racing horse
  • Kauto Star is not only the most successful horse to ever compete in this race, but he is also the most highly rated competitor to win. He won on four occasions from 2006 to 2011. Overall, he had a career record of 19 wins from 31 starts in the category of steeple chase events and 23 wins from 41 starts overall. In addition, by the end of his career in 2012, Kauto Star had made over two million in earnings.

  • In addition to being the strongest competitor in the history of the race, Kauto Star is responsible for some of the best Betfair Chase moments. In 2009, he was favoured at 4/6 and thrilled the crowd by winning by just a nose ahead of Imperial Commander. To date, it remains the narrowest margin win yet recorded. Then, in 2011 he gave an epic performance by setting a record for fastest time and winning by a wide margin of eight lengths.

  • In 2017, Bristol de Mai gave the most dominating performance in the history of the race when he crossed the finish a record 57 lengths ahead of Cue Card.