Betfair Ascot Chase Betting Tips, Stats & History

The pick of the Saturday cards in mid February comes at Ascot with their Betfair Chase Raceday. Just about topping the bill is this Grade 1 chase contest which gives it's name to the meeting. The Betfair Ascot Chase can often draw a field small in numbers but high in quality.

Inaugurated in 1995, this has quickly become a key target for middle distance chasers with names such as Kauto Star, Monet's Garden and Cue Card gracing the impressive list of past winners.

Race Info

2m5f is the trip for this Grade 1 Chase which offers £150,000 in total prize money. The going at the track is currently described as good to soft.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good To Soft 2m5f 1 £150,000 6 Runners 1/4 1-2

Betfair Ascot Chase Betting Tips

Ascot, 15:55, Saturday 16th February 2019

We are big fans of a couple of runners in this field, but the key aspect here may well be the going on the day, and as such we will be siding with a horse proven in the grade, suited by conditions, and expected to step forward from his first run in over a year last time out.

The first thing that stands out when looking at the list of recent winners in this is just how well the market leaders have fared. Eight of the past 10 editions have been landed by the jolly, returning a level stakes profit of just over 9pts.

Paul Nicholls has the best record of the trainers on show, with three previous wins in the race. One more victory will take him level with Martin Pipe for the all-time lead in the event. Nicholls has both Politologue and Cyrname entered at the time of writing.

We have a real high-quality renewal this year, including the 2018 winner of the race, a dual Grade 1 winner on the comeback trail and a couple of eye-catching entries from the yard of multiple Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls.

Cyr’s Name On The Trophy?

Paul Nicholls’ Cyrname hasn’t been the most consistent or reliable in his career to date, but is undoubtedly a smart performer on his day, and took his form to a whole new level last time out over this course and distance. The bet365 Handicap Chase had looked a competitive heat beforehand, but there was only one horse in the race a long way from home that day as Cyrname pulverised the opposition to the tune of 21 lengths.

This is clearly a big step up in class – he is 0 from 2 in Grade 1s to date – but it’s certainly possible we haven’t seen the best of him yet, and that proven liking for conditions counts for plenty. With King George fourth Politologue also going to post, Nicholls boasts a strong hand here.

Patiently To Pounce Again?

Another runner proven at the track is last year’s winner of this race, Waiting Patiently. 2¾l too good for the legendary Cue Card 12 months ago, this Ruth Jefferson-trained runner is unbeaten in completed starts over fences, with the only blemish on his record coming when unluckily unseating his rider in the King George last time out. He’s the top-rated runner in the field, boasting a high cruising speed and potent acceleration and looks likely to get the strong pace needed to be seen to best effect.

Don’t Ignore Norton

Another for the shortlist is Colin Tizzard’s dual Grade 1 winner, Fox Norton. Not seen since being pulled up in the 2017 King George, this one posted a respectable come back when beaten seven lengths by the brilliant Altior over 2m at this track in January. He can be expected to strip fitter for that and previously a top level winner over 2m4f in the Melling Chase, he has the form in the book to be involved should he handle this slight step up in trip.

Final Verdict: Fox Norton each way

Waiting Patiently is the best horse in the current line-up for us, but there must be some doubt as to his participation here. Currently described as good to soft, but drying, and with no rain forecast, the ground may well be going against one who needs at least some give underfoot.

Cyrname also seems to enjoy easier ground and seems likly to have competition for the lead here from Charbel. As such the bet in the race for us is Fox Norton. The manner in which he landed that Melling Chase on good ground suggested that an additional furlong wouldn’t prove an issue and he is taken to at least make the frame.

Recent Winners

2019 Cyrname 3/1 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden
2018 Waiting Patiently 2/1 Ruth Jefferson Brian Hughes
2017 Cue Card 4/9 Colin Tizzard Paddy Brennan
2016 Silviniaco Conti 2/1 Paul Nicholls Noel Fehily
2015 Balder Succes 4/1 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
2014 Captain Chris 8/11 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
2013 Cue Card 15/8 Colin Tizzard Joe Tizzard
2012 Riverside Theatre 13/8 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2011 Riverside Theatre 11/10 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2010 Monet's Garden 11/2 Nicky Richards Barry Geraghty

About the Ascot Chase: A Platform For The Greats

Entrance to Ascot Racecourse
Photo © Alan Hunt (cc-by-sa/2.0) (Image Cropped)

The high-class National Hunt action comes thick and fast between the New Year and the Cheltenham Festival in March, and the beautiful Berkshire venue of Ascot does its bit to keep the momentum going with this excellent event held in February each year.

Inaugurally run in 1995 as the Comet Chase, the race has undergone a number of sponsorship changes over the years, with betting giant Betfair taking over the reins in 2009. The race has taken place at Ascot every year since, barring a two-year soiree to Lingfield Park as Ascot underwent extensive renovations in 2005 and 2006. Initially a midweek affair, having taken place on a Wednesday until 1997, the race has been a big Saturday contest every year since.

Initially run over a distance of 2m3½f, the distance was increased to 2m5f in 2008 and now sees 17 fences standing between the competitors and glory. A top-tier Grade 1 event, the contest is open to all runners aged five and older.

Legends Leading the Way

This race may not have been with us for all that long, but it has already compiled quite a roll of honour. A quick glance at the table below gives some idea as to the quality of performer it often takes to prevail in this race.

Notable Ascot Chase Winners

HorseRaceYears Won
Kauto Star Ascot Chase 2008
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2007, 2009
Betfair Chase 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
King George VI Chase 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
Cue Card Ascot Chase 2013, 2017
Ryanair Chase 2013
Betfair Chase 2013, 2015, 2016
King George VI Chase 2015
One Man Ascot Chase 1998
Queen Mother Champion Chase 1998
Hennessy Gold Cup 1994
King George VI Chase 1995, 1996
Silviniaco Conti Ascot Chase 2016
Aintree Bowl 2014, 2015
King George VI Chase 2013, 2014

Big Names Out In Front

A big race, won by a selection of the biggest names in the equine world, it isn’t too surprising that it is those to have regularly finished atop the training tree who have led the way here over the years. 15-time Champion Trainer winner Martin Pipe heads the standings alongside 11-time champ Paul Nicholls, swiftly followed by Nicky Henderson who has five trainers titles to his name.

Chart Showing Most Successful Ascot Chase Trainers Between 1995 and 2019

Barry Geraghty has been the man to follow in the saddle with three wins as of 2019. Still going strong in the colours of JP McManus, he may well add to this total further before he hangs up the silks.

Eight Is Great

It can often be tough for the younger chasers to make their presence felt against their more experienced opposition, particularly in top level events such as this. Strong Promise defied that trend here when coming home in front as a six year old in the 1997 edition. The Geoff Hubbard runner didn’t quite go on to achieve what might have been expected though, winning just one more race in his career, although he did narrowly miss out on winning this race again when second to One Man in 1998.

At the other end of the scale we have the grand old grey Monet’s Garden. A 10-time winner in Graded company, he landed this prize for the second time at the grand old age of 12 in 2010.

Chart Showing the Age of Ascot Chase Winners Between 1995 and 2019

It is the eight year old runners who have fared best here overall though with ten wins in the first 25 editions of the race for an impressive 40% strike rate.

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