Ascot Chase Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

Ascot Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

Mid to late February each year sees Ascot play host to the high class Ascot Chase. In the build up to the race we will be highlighting the best odds and offers around and providing our betting tips for the outcome.

The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching. Connections are making their final preparations and Ascot plays host to a high class staying chase of its own. First run at the track in 1995, this 2m5f contest is a relative newcomer to the Grade 1 scene. It has, however, quickly established itself in the racing calendar. With total prize money in excess of £150,000 this is a much coveted prize.

Tips and Race Preview 2020

The Betfair Ascot Chase is the biggest race of the weekend and one of the biggest in the lead up to the Cheltenham Festival. This Grade 1 takes place over 2 miles 5 furlongs and has played host to many high class horses before their run at Cheltenham the following month.

We have a field of just four horses lining up for this year’s renewal which is a shame but understandable given the horrible weather in the forecast. Still, racing fans should get some valuable insight with the form of Cyrname of greatest interest … assuming Storm Dennis doesn’t get in the way!

Cyrname to Bounce Back from King George Let Down

Cyrname arrives at Ascot as the heavy odds-on favourite to win the Betfair Ascot Chase. Paul Nicholls’ eight-year-old won this contest 12 months ago and has since gone on to lower the colours of the previously unbeaten Altior.

Hopes are high that a strong performance at Ascot on Saturday will convince connections to give him a chance at a left handed track, potentially even in a renewal of hostilities with Altior in the Champion Chase.

Cyrname has an incredibly high official rating of 177 but there is still a feeling that we don’t quite know what brings out the best of him. He got the better of Altior by over 2 lengths in the Christy 1965 Chase which takes place over the same trip and course as the Betfair Ascot Chase but then ran out of steam in the closing stages of the King George VI Chase at Kempton which takes place over 3 miles.

Without the stamina to really make an impact over the staying trips but an excellent jumping ability, Cyrname does look a perfect fit for minimum distance chasing. He certainly looked very good when landing a couple of high calibre novices around 2 miles back in 2017. If he runs better at Ascot than he did at Kempton and puts this field to the sword, Cyrname may be given the chance to show just what he is capable of at Cheltenham which is a very exciting prospect indeed.

Is the Underdog Worthy of Small Stakes Support?

The betting odds suggest that Traffic Fluide will be little more than the back marker in the 2020 Betfair Ascot Chase. There is no doubt that this is a significant step up in class for the 10-year-old who, on paper at least, should be getting nowhere near either Cyrname, Riders Onthe Storm or Janika over 2 miles 5 furlongs.

As the cliche goes, horse racing doesn’t take place on paper though and with Storm Dennis set to hit on Saturday, could we be in for an upset? Traffic Fluide is a hardy type who has an outside shot at running in the Grand National. The more of a slog this turns into, the better his chances of pulling off a huge shock at 66/1 with Coral. If you fancy a real crazy outsider this weekend, this could be the one!

Betting Predictions

There has long been a big debate about just how good Cyrname is. That debate won’t be settled on Saturday afternoon but Cyrname should at least prove to have too much for his three opponents in the Betfair Ascot Chase. It is very tough to look past him even at a best price of 2/5 with bet365.

Previous Winners

  • 2019 – Cyrname – jockey Harry Cobden, trainer Paul Nicholls
  • 2018 – Waiting Patiently – jockey Brian Hughes, trainer Ruth Jefferson
  • 2017 – Cue Card – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Colin Tizzard
  • 2016 – Silviniaco Conti – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Paul Nicholls
  • 2015 – Balder Succes – jockey Wayne Hutchinson, trainer Alan King
  • 2014 – Captain Chris – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
  • 2013 – Cue Card – jockey Joe Tizzard, trainer Colin Tizzard
  • 2012 – Riverside Theatre – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
  • 2011 – Riverside Theatre – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
  • 2010 – Monet’s Garden – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Richards
  • 2009 – Voy Por Ustedes – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
  • 2008 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
  • 2007 – Monet’s Garden – jockey Tony Dobbin, trainer Nicky Richards
  • 2006 – Our Vic – jockey Timmy Murphy, trainer Martin Pipe

Ascot Chase History

Since its inaugural running in 1995, when known as The Comet Chase, this contest has been held at the Berkshire venue of Ascot in all bar two years. During the redevelopment of Ascot in 2005 and 2006 the race was transferred to Lingfield Park but switched back to Ascot in 2007. The distance over which this race has been run has also varied a little over this period. Initially a 2m 3 1/2f event, it was increased to its present trip in 2008 and has remained unchanged since. There are now 17 stiff fences to be negotiated around Ascot’s galloping right handed track. That places a dual emphasis on jumping ability and stamina.

Looking at the list of previous winners here it quickly becomes apparent that it takes a pretty high class performer to come out on top. King George VI winners, Cue Card, One Man and Teeton Mill in addition to Champion Chaser’s Martha’s Son and Voy Por Ustedes have all been successful in this race. Undoubtedly the greatest winner of all though was the mighty five time King George winner and dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, Kauto Star. The Paul Nicholls trained legend took the prize in 2008.

The race is open to all chasers aged five years and older. However it has not yet been won by one so youthful, the six-year-old Strong Promise being the youngest ever victor in 1997. The elder statesman among yesterday’s heroes here is the popular grey Monet’s Garden who took the honours for the second time in 2010 at the age of 12.

In general it seems that experience counts for a lot. 21 of the first 25 winners have been aged 8 or over, with many already having a big prize under their belt. Look for an established Grade 1 performer to stamp their class on proceedings.

15 time champion Martin Pipe heads the trainers list here. His four wins between the years of 2002 and 2006 putting him ahead of the pack. Nicky Henderson is hot on his heels though with three wins. Two of Henderson’s triumphs came courtesy of the only back to back winner of the race to date, Riverside Theatre who took the honours in 2011 and 2012.

Those two wins for Riverside Theatre were enough to catapult Irishman Barry Geraghty to the top of the jockeys list. He sits on three wins in the race having also been aboard Monet’s Garden in 2010.

Check out our Grand National Trial betting offers too, as well as our main Grand National preview and offers.