Lostintranslation favourite but Nicholls entry looks “good as ever”

Lostintranslation is the favourite to win the Β£160,000 Betfair Chase after five horses were confirmed for the big race at Haydock this Saturday.

The first British Grade 1 race of the National Hunt season is set to be one of the most competitive renewals in the race’s 16 year history.

That’s reflected in the betting on the Exchange for the extended three miles and a furlong contest.

Lostintranslation 2.3411/8 leads a small but high-quality field. Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old triumphed last year and is aiming to become the fourth horse to win it back-to-back.

Bristol De Mai, which won in 2017 and ’18 and lost out in a thrilling battle with Lostintranslation 12 months ago, comes next in the betting at 3.39/4. If Nigel Twiston-Davies’ nine-year-old is successful on Saturday he’ll join Cue Card and Kauto Star as three-time winners.

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Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls (pictured above) has other ideas. He enters Clan Des Obeaux 4.1, who is part-owned by Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Ditcheat chief says his horse is in great shape. You will be able to read about Clan and all of Paul’s runners on these pages of course.

Clan Des Obeaux has won the last two renewals of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park and is also a winner at Haydock, having landed a graduation chase over an extended two miles and five furlongs on Betfair Chase Day in 2017.

Nicholls, who has won the Betfair Chase a record six times, said: “Clan des Obeaux looks amazing at the moment, as good as ever I would say.

“He didn’t run in the Betfair Chase last year, when he went to Down Royal instead, but he ran in the race two years ago. That was one of the first times we had run him in G1 company and he probably wasn’t fully wound up that day.

“This time, he will be ready to run to his best at Haydock. All of our good chasers have run well first time up this season and Clan des Obeaux has been back in since July 1. He has had an away day with Politologue and looks great, very fit.

“Clan des Obeaux is a dual King George winner and we have set out to try and win the Betfair Chase this year and not just use the race as a prep for Kempton. All of our chasers are in really good shape and he has a good chance on the weekend. I suppose if he had gone on and won a Gold Cup, he would have received more recognition than he has, but any horse that can win two King Georges is very smart.

“He is a big, strong horse who gallops and stays. He probably hasn’t shown his best form going left-handed, but he has won at Haydock before. He loves the track at Haydock as it is a flatter track than Cheltenham.

“He is a proper sort of horse and is only eight so is probably at his peak now. He just looks a different horse now. He is more athletic and stronger, and his work has been very good.

“There has been a lot of rain about but if the going at Haydock is as it is now, he will definitely run there. The weather forecast looks encouraging and it is all systems go. I don’t think he has won over a distance as far as the three miles, one-and-a-half furlongs at Haydock on Saturday but I don’t think it is a problem. He is dead simple to ride and you can slot him in anywhere. A small field will not be a problem.”

Cracking 16th renewal on Saturday

The other two runners declared for the race, which takes place at 15:00 on Saturday, are Bellshill 38.037/1 and Keeper Hill 55.054/1.

Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr said: “It’s shaping up to be a cracking 16th renewal of the iconic race.

“Lostintranslation and Bristol de Mai couldn’t be separated in the market last year but this time around the 2019 winner is the clear favourite.

“Dual King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux, is sure to have plenty of backers with his Trainer, Paul Nicholls, sounding very positive about his chances, and looks a bit of value.”

Look out for more Betfair Chase news and build-up throughout the week, including exclusive content from Paul Nicholls, and take our Betfair Chase Quiz to test your knowledge.