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Betfair Chase preview

In the years since Betfair took over the naming rights of the Lancashire Chase, there hasn't been an edition as strong as this. Running his eye over the form and sharing his expertise is a blog debutant, Sam Tribe. You can follow Sam via @samtribe87, and hopefully read more of his work here again soon...

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‘The Mini Gold Cup’ 3 miles 1 furlong, likely going soft

The Grade 1 Showcase at Haydock this Saturday most commonly known as the Lancashire Stakes (just don’t tell the sponsors that) has been dubbed ‘The Mini Gold Cup’ due to the presence of some of the best 3 mile chasers around. The race is populated by chasing stars of the future, the past and the present as Trainers strive to get their ‘celebrities’ down the red carpet before the cold snap the tabloids have been promising properly kicks in. Celebs & the red carpet analogy is actually incredibly unfair, as these horses will have to show all of their talent, brute force, hard work and determination to land this race for their connections, traits the majority of celebs seem to lack. Perhaps unrivalled beasts fits the bill better. So here’s my attempt at deciphering the field, and bear in mind I fancy 6 out of the 8 runners for this one so good luck to everyone, and, whatever you do, take my opinion with a pinch of salt, or maybe a free bet! Prices quoted are the market at time of posting.

1. Bobs Worth, 9/4
Gold Cup winner, Hennessey Gold Cup winner, RSA Chase winner, all over this distance or further and rightly the joint favourite (at SP will more than likely be favourite.) Proven talent, proven ability and proven stamina and would be a Bob Worthy (sorry) winner tomorrow. His performance in the Hennessey last year was very impressive and to follow that up with the GC win was just as good. Lightly raced and if last season’s performances are anything to go by, he’s definitely the one to beat.

2. Cue Card, 7/1
Another great horse showing loads of potential, but being stepped up in trip due to the utter dominance of Sprinter Sacre in the 2m-2.5m distance. His only other performance at this trip was fifth in last year’s King George, excused because of the absolute bog of a track. However, not fancied here as others suit.

3. Dynaste, 6/1
From a cracking stable that are in form and this horse is going places. In my opinion, he needs a year racing at this level before he becomes a regular Grade 1 winner that, I believe, is more of when than if. This race will show us a lot but definitely in the ‘one to watch’ category.

4. Long Run, 12/1
This, to me, seems a crazy price for a horse that hasn’t been outside the top three bar his last run, but then it just highlights the quality he’s up against. A horse with unbelievable staying power and undeniable quality, a question mark still hangs over his mane for me. I have always wondered what he would’ve achieved thus far under the guidance of a top class professional jockey, plying his trade day in day out and knows how to make those last two furlongs count. Don’t get me wrong, Sam Waley-Cohen is a top class jockey, but I believe Geraghty would’ve turned those 3’s and 2’s into 1’s. Top 3 contender and worth an each way bet.

5. Roi Du Mee, 14/1
The Irish raider’s first run in Britain and that seems the only reason why he’s such a big price. A truly fantastic performance last time out at Down Royal, making virtually all and beating the likes of Sizing Europe, Prince De Beauchene and First Lieutenant. Gigginstown clearly like this horse and maybe recent performances have put him in line to run at the GC rather than First Lieutenant. If he’s had a decent trip over and can follow on from his previous performances then has to be taken seriously.

6. Silviniaco Conti, 9/4
A lot of love being shown for Silviniaco, and the belief flying around is that Nicholls will have him tiptop for this race, after all he won this last year with a great performance. Another common belief is that when he fell three out at Cheltenham in March, he was looking very good and could’ve beaten Bobs Worth up the hill. If those two go all the way tomorrow and it comes down to the final stretch, Silviniaco has the pace to beat him.

7. The Giant Bolster 20/1
Tough race for this hardened professional but I fear the pace will rule him out from the off. You’re better off taking each way prices on Long Run, Tidal Bay and Roi De Mee.

8. Tidal Bay 15/2
The oldest by four years but that doesn’t seem to matter to this beaut of a horse. I have a serious soft spot for Tidal Bay, he’s as consistent as you like and will give you his all until the day he is retired. What’s more he has a Champion Jockey in the making on board and I truly hope Sam TD can follow up his win on Tidal Bay last time out at Wetherby with a win tomorrow. A foolish man will discount.

Conclusion
Good luck! Honestly this race is going to be a cracker and I cannot wait to watch. The value bets are Tidal Bay, Roi Du Mee and Long Run. If one of them finishes second to Silviniaco or Bobs Worth then you should be happy at the prices knocking around at the moment. However, don’t be surprised if one of them pips it, and in that category, my favourite to nick the win would be Tidal Bay. This Rubik’s Cube of a race is verging on the impossible to call so sit back, relax and enjoy!

Neck firmly stuck out: Silviniaco to win, Tidal Bay EW

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