JNwine.com Champion Chase Betting Tips & Predictions
It’s the first weekend of November and anything’s possible as horse racing fans take themselves to Down Royal racetrack in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, for the eagerly awaited renewal of the JNwine.com Champion Chase.
The Chase is run on Saturday 3rd November with a start time expected of 2.30pm. A star-studded field was available to flick through during the ante-post exchanges before the numbers will be slashed to a final confirmed field approaching race day.
Three miles lies in front of the runners and riders for this Grade 1 spectacle; as far as strong starts to the month go, we really couldn’t have hoped for too much better with a competitive field carrying some big prices. Many of the front-runners in the betting hold genuine claims on the 140,00 Euros prize pool, with €82,600 paid to the champion.
A race open to horses aged five years and older, it was first contested back in 1999 when Florida Pearl claimed a place in the history books for Willie Mullins, under the ride of jockey Paul Carberry. The first ever victor was a seven-year-old; however, last season’s king, Outlander, came good for the winning partnership of Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy as a 9YO.
Number of Strategies Available
Experienced punters adopt a number of tried and tested horse racing strategies when attempting to get one over on the bookies and correctly call the winner of this race. Some study the recent form, checking which runners arrive on the back of a winning run. Others search for hot jockeys or yards who have made a habit of appearing in the winners enclosure in the past.
Some prefer to keep things simple, picking a contender with a name that reminds them of home, or even the jockey’s silks. A lot less work involved there, but it has certainly given its fair share of profits.
We always like to keep the trends close, scrolling through past runnings of the race on the lookout for a pattern involving the age of a horse, jockey or trainer. Let’s see what that throws up this year.
Age Isn’t Just a Number
We’ve had a good mix of age winners in recent times, with the last 10 returning anything from a promising six-year-old upset to an experienced 10-year-old campaigner. Look closely at more recent runs however and it proves it’s worth sticking between seven and nine with each of the last five winners falling into that bracket.
That run is made up of two at 7YO, a pair of 8YOs and Outlander last year at nine. Closing that gap further, we see half of the last four have been seven, Road To Riches doing the business in 2014 and Valseur Lido scoring in 2016.
This year’s ante-post favourite, Balko Des Flos, is aged seven. However, he’s only one of two from the top five in the betting with that number attached, fifth favourite Shattered Love being the other. Keep that in mind as we begin to whittle down the field.
Who Is the Most Successful Trainer?
Paul Nicholls currently carries the prize as this race’s most successful trainer with four previous champions. That role is made up of Taranis (2007), Kauto Star (2008 and 2010) and Kauto Stone (2012). Yes, the fact he was represented by one of the best horses that ever lived in Kauto Star may have given him an advantage; however, it would be foolish to look past a runner from the Nicholls yard without affording it serious respect.
Gordon Elliott has been closing the gap in recent years and the County Meath-based trainer has cheered home three of the last five victors – Roi du Mee in 2013, Don Cossack 2015 and, of course, Outlander 12 months ago. He has had success with slightly older horses, the first two in that run aged eight. Elliott has Outlander back for more as the experienced gelding; he’s showcased stats of 10 wins and 11 placed efforts from 31 outings, taking aim at two-in-a-row. Outlander is fourth favourite at the time of checking and the yard are boosted by Shattered Love one behind.
Taking a Closer Look at Shattered Love
With Shattered Love coming in at seven-years-old from the sharp-shooting Gordon Elliott stable, it makes perfect sense to take a closer look at her chances. The bay mare, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, has won nine of her first 17 starts, with five places banked.
She got off to a winning start when scoring on debut at Naas back in March 2016 in a Mares Flat Race run over two miles, crossing the line carrying a 5/1 price tag. She has been just as successful in recent starts and will travel to Down Royal having won three of her last five and five of eight, two silver medals included in that purple patch.
Her most recent victory came at the Cheltenham Festival in March, when taking the JLT Novices Chase over 2m 3f. She finished seven furlongs ahead of runner-up Terreford, another five back to bronze medalist Benatar. A fantastic effort on this big stage at Prestbury Park, but she has failed to repeat the feat since. She finished second behind Al Boum Photo in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse, a length the distance that day, and fifth in the Champion Novice Chase around Punchestown, a race won by The Storyteller at 16/1.
Bookmakers seem keen to keep on the right side of that form; however, they are willing to give punters something to work with and Bet365 have been particularly generous when dealing out a market best price 9/1. If you’re going to back Shattered Love make sure you do it at Bet365 as some of their rivals have the same result priced at as low as 7/1. Don’t short-change yourself.
Others Worth a Mention
Taking a look at the runners prominent in the early betting; we have Balko Des Flos as favourite with 888sport offering a top price of 13/8 – 6/4 the general feeling elsewhere. The seven-year-old gelding represents Henry De Bromhead and has won six times from 19 outings; he has placed in the top-three on another seven occasions. ; the horse was runner-up behind Road To Respect in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase over 3m at 66/1 and followed that up with victory in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, weighted in at 8/1.
Nine-year-old Sub Lieutenant is another one carrying the hopes of De Bromhead; he is another who has been given maximum respect by those on the trading floors. William Hill has the gelding at best odds 4/1, although there’s plenty of 7/2 out there. He has won each of his last two, banking a Sales Chase at Galway before coming good in the four-runner Irish Daily Star Chase in October.
Clan des Obeaux is 6/1 if trusting your stake money to William Hill and, again, we keep you right with the best value out there, most of the competition going a point shorter. The six-year-old gelding has finished no higher than third in any of his last four, winning the Haydock Graduation Chase and finishing second in a similar race at Kempton and the Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last December. Last seen taking third in Grade 1 company, settled behind Might Bite and Bristol De Mai in the Betway Bowl Chase.