BetBright Trial Chase – Race Preview
One of the feature races at Cheltenham on Saturday is the BetBright Trial Chase. Run over 3 miles and 1 furlong, the BetBright Trial Chase is a Grade 2 contest with a total of 21 fences jumped. Serving as a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Saturday’s race is an important stepping stone for leading horses heading to the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Willie Mullins trained Djakadam is the current ante-post favourite for Saturday’s race and the seven-year old is also the current ante-post favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Djakadam comes into the race having run only once so far this season – successful in a Grade 1 contest at Punchestown over the festive period. Described by Mullins as the best chaser in Ireland, Djakadam finished runner-up in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Punchestown Gold Cup last season and he will take all the beating on Saturday.
Many Clouds won this race last year then finishing sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before winning the Aintree Grand National. Connections did ponder an attempt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup again this season but have instead opted to aim for a defence of his Grand National crown. The Oliver Sherwood nine-year old is a class act and if he is fit he could well push Djakadam close. However, with his training regime being built around April’s Grand National, it may be that Saturday comes too soon for him.
Rebecca Curtis will be represented by O’Faolains Boy as he looks to put down his marker in the Gold Cup market. Winner of the RSA Chase at the Festival in 2014, O’Faolains Boy then ran a respectable race at Aintree in the Mildmay Chase before being out of action for over a year and a half due to injury. Pulled up behind Vautour at Ascot in November, O’Faolains Boy then coasted to victory in a Grade 2 chase at Newbury before Christmas. That form would not be good enough to win Saturday’s race but if he improves as expected, then he would run into the places.
Smad Place has enjoyed an excellent season so far with victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup followed up with fourth place in the King George on Boxing Day. Having had a rest since the King George, a strong run is expected from the Alan King trained grey as he looks to justify his place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup field. Cheltenham does appear to bring out the best in the horse, having placed four times from six appearances and another placed effort could well be on the cards come Saturday.
Djakadam is the current 1.40 (2/5) ante-post favourite for Saturday’s race with Many Clouds available to back at 7 (6/1). O’Faolains Boy is 8 (7/1) and Smad Place is 9 (8/1). The horse racing tip for Saturday’s BetBright Trial Chase is O’Faolains Boy each-way at 8 (7/1).
By: Scott McGlynn