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There is a feast of racing across the UK this weekend with a host of jumping’s biggest stars in action, writes The Investor. The feature on Saturday is the Betfair Chase at Haydock. With £200,000 in prize money and a potential £1m bonus up for grabs if the winner of this goes on to score in the King George and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it has attracted a select but quality field.
Beef or Salmon is a standing dish in the best staying chases and four of the other five declared contested last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Yet this contest revolves around one horse, Kauto Star. A standard bearer for Paul Nicholls’ yard, he came from France with a massive reputation, duly bolted up in the Tingle Creek and was favourite for last season’s Queen Mother Champions Chase when falling. Kauto Star was imperious first time out this season when winning over 2m4f. If he stays and stands up, he wins. End of story.
However, this is the furthest he has ever run. Three miles around Haydock on sticky ground is a proper test of stamina, more so than three miles at Kempton in the King George (another entry he holds) where the ground rarely rides soft. At 6/4 though, it might be worth looking elsewhere. L’Ami was second in last year’s Hennessey and a fourth in the Gold Cup, but we still may not have seen the best of him.
Ascot also hosts an impressive card. In the feature Carey Group Handicap Chase, Green Tango is worth a second chance having fallen on his seasonal re-appearance.
On Sunday we have the first sighting of the National fences in the Totesport.com Becher Chase. Clan Royal, winner of this race in 2003 and perhaps the best Aintree jumper never to win the big one, lines up, but let your head rule your heart. He is too old and too highly weighted. In contrast, ante-post gamble Tanterari runs off a featherweight. Bewleys Berry, however, is a dark horse who offers each-way value.
1:50 Haydock – L’Ami (win)
2:05 Ascot – Green Tango (each-way)
2:35 Aintree (Sunday) – Bewleys Berry (each-way)