There’s no easy way to make a million pounds, but there certainly are plenty of hard ways. One of them is the Jockey Club’s Million Pound Bonus, which starts on Saturday with the Betfair Chase (3.00) Haydock, one of three legs of the series, the other two being the King George and then the Gold Cup itself. This year’s renewal is one that has many questions to be answered and there are plenty of tips flying around. For the best Horse racing tips be sure to check out myracing.com.
If Cue Card is in the same form as he was when he took this on the bridle last year, having moved through the race effortlessly before walking away from Silviniaco Conti, then he is likely to take the beating once again. He was strongest at the end of the King George when he caught Vautour at the end of three miles at Kempton, and based on how impressive he was at Aintree, he may well have won the Gold Cup had he stood up when falling at the third last. He made his return recently in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, when he was beaten into third by Menorah and Irish Cavalier. That day he appeared to do a lot early in the race, having travelled perhaps too strongly for his own good, before running out of puff late. He should improve, but so should Menorah, second there, and it remains to be seen if his team had a lot in the tank; He certainly took great steps forward from his first run last year. It may well be that Paddy Brennan sits more quietly today.
Coneygree has not been seen since romping home against non-existent opposition in the Future Stars novice chase, his first and only run since a remarkable novice year in which he ran the field ragged in the Gold Cup. He missed all of last season thanks to a hock injury, but it’s worth noting that the decision for him to be kept off the track was as much down to choice as circumstance and media reports are overwhelmingly positive and have been for a long time. The form of that Gold Cup success has been well represented through Djakadam, runner up for the second year in March, and on Saturday he gets a chance to make the running in ground he should revel in, which spells trouble for the rest of the field. If he makes a successful comeback today, then it will be all systems go for the Gold Cup again, for which he is 10/1 with Bet365, SkyBet and Boylesports. That could be a handy each/way bet especially if he runs as well.
Seeyouatmidnight is shortest of the second season chasers, and with good reason. Sandy Thompson’s eight year old fluffed his lines in the RSA but he redeemed himself with a fine third in the Scottish National to end his season. He then returned in a much hyped clash with Bristol De Mai that was quickly turned into a procession when the two got racing as he beat the Grade 1 winner who trailed in his wake. That was a match, but he is just as comfortable in bigger fields and he ought to be far happier on this softer ground today stepped up in trip – he beat RSA winner Blaklion in the Dipper on near bottomless ground in January – and if he steps forward from that then he could trouble the top two if they are not at their best.
Irish Cavalier fulfilled all his potential to take victory on his reappearance for a resurgent Rebecca Curtis, who is making hay this season after a disappointing campaign last year. He has to be respected here, having posted a career best, but he came on from his season opener at Chepstow and is now 4lbs worse off with the first and second, so this could be tougher. We saw the best of Silvinaco Conti only once last season, when he ran away with the Ascot Chase in February after a campaign that had not lived up to previous seasons. Before then he’d been swatted aside in last year’s running of this ano whilst he ought to strip much fitter for his return at Down Royal, he must better last year’s effort and significantly so to take the honours.
Tom George’s God’s Own, a winner of the Melling Chase and the Champion Chase at Punchestown, does not appear to be crying out for three miles and is more likely to run at Ascot on the same afternoon if the ground is decent there. Roi Des Francs, will love the surface if he runs but he has much to find after disappointing in his two Grade 1 runs at the big festivals last year for his new yard.
A multiple graded winner over fences, Vezelay was also third behind multiple Grade One winner Milord Thomas in the Prix la Haye Jousselin last November, but he was only seventh in the Grand Steeple-Chase Du Paris and he will have to be much better to get involved here.
Betfair Chase – 1 pt each/way Seeyouatmidnight (8/1 general)
2017 Gold Cup – 1 pt each/way Coneygree (10/1 SkyBet, Bet365, Boylesports)