The Betbright Chase run over 3m at Kempton may be considered a trial for the Grand National, but stats suggest otherwise. Rough Quest (1996) was the last horse to complete the double so we’ll concentrate on specialist three-milers rather than out-and-out stayers (3.45pm Saturday at Kempton, live on CH4 & RacingUK).
Easter Day (5/1) was still travelling well when falling three from home in a valuable 2m5f handicap chase at Cheltenham in January and, off the same handicap mark, is probably a worthy favourite.
Paul Nicholls’ seven-year-old has yet to win beyond 2m6½f, but an extra furlong and a half should be well within his compass, especially on this sharpish, flat track. It is worth remembering that he beat subsequent RSA Chase winner O’Faolain’s Boy (receiving 4lb) over 2m5½f at Ascot last December and he promises to be a tough nut to crack once again. The yard has an outstanding strike-rate in the big Saturday handicaps this season.
Rocky Creek (12/1) also represents the Nicholls’ bandwagon. He was fancied to run a big race in last season’s Grand National and was an admirable fifth behind Pineau De Re. He started at 8/1 for the Hennessy Gold Cup but was pulled up. Not seen out since, he comes from a yard that can ready them after a break and whose apparent second strings in the betting can never be dismissed. It would be no surprise to see him run a huge race at what looks a tempting each-way price.
Le Reve (9/1) found 3m2½f on soft going beyond him in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November, but has otherwise been in excellent form, winning twice from four starts. He steps up in class off a 7lb higher mark than when beating Theatrical Star by five lengths at Sandown three weeks, but won convincingly enough to suggest that he is still feasibly weighted. On the downside, Lucy Wadham’s charge probably would not want too much rain and, as a long-striding individual, it is unlikely that he will be quite as at home at Kempton as Sandown.
Lost Legend (16/1) could make no impression from two out when only fifth, beaten 29 lengths, behind If In Doubt in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster four weeks ago. However he has done all his winning on flat tracks and is only 2lb higher in the weights than when staying on strongly to win a 0-140 contest over 2m4½f at Kempton in January. He has only been tried over 3m once since winning a maiden point-to-point as a five-year-old and is consequently completely unexposed as a staying chaser.
Of those at longer odds, What A Warrior (25/1) was pulled up in Hennessy Gold Cup, over 3m2½f at Newbury in November (along with Le Reve and Rocky Creek), but may be better judged on his half length defeat of subsequent winner Black Thunder at Ascot earlier the same month. That effort was far and away his best so far, on just his second start for trainer Dan Skelton (pictured), so he may still have more improvement to come. He is 7lb higher in the weights this time, but a less severe test of stamina and faster underfoot conditions should help and he appears overpriced.
BetBright Chase Preview Betting Tips Verdict
Easter Day is the obvious one and his stablemate Rocky Creek can not be discounted. But at five times the price of the favourite WHAT A WARRIOR is hard to resist. With the leading bookmakers offering 1/4 odds the first four, What A Warrior looks an each-way steal at 25/1 with Betfred or Totesport. We would be surprised if that price latest too long.