The Betfair Ascot Chase is the richest Grade One contest of the Jump season run at Ascot Racecourse, and in 2019 it will be staged on Saturday 16th February.
First staged in 1995, the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase is now firmly established as one of the premier middle-distance chases of the Jumps season. Some great horses have raced to victory since its inception, often on the back of Boxing Day glory at Kempton or en route to stardom the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals later in the season.
Run over two miles and five furlongs, the Betfair Ascot Chase boasts an outstanding roll of honour including Martha’s Son, One Man, Teeton Mill, Tiutchev, Our Vic, Monet’s Garden, Voy Por Ustedes and Kauto Star among the winners, as well as recently retired crowd favourite Cue Card, in 2017.
The atmosphere on the day is one of excitement and anticipation…. As well as the big prize money on offer on the day, the Betfair Ascot Chase, and accompanying races on the card, provides horses and their connections with a chance to fine-tune their plans and preparations for The Cheltenham Festival, which is fast approaching.
For racegoers it’s an opportunity to see elite equine performers, as well as some potential stars of the future.
BETFAIR CHELTENHAM PREVIEW
Following the racing, King Edward VII Enclosure ticket holders are able to enjoy a Cheltenham Festival preview, getting unique insight from those in the know ahead of the Jumps season’s showpiece.
ITV Racing’s Oli Bell and Ed Chamberlin, leading trainer Paul Nicholls, jockey Aidan Coleman and Betfair’s Barry Orr are among those to have taken part in previous years. The line-up for this year’s event will be announced soon.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE ASCOT CHASE?
The race’s distance attracts horses which are targeting races between 2m and 3m+ at both Cheltenham and Aintree. As a result, mouth-watering clashes between specialists at different distances have become a regular feature of the race.
Proof of this is found in the Betfair Ascot Chase’s remarkable roll of honour: previous winners have also found regular Grade 1 success at Cheltenham in, amongst others, the Arkle Trophy, Gold Cup, Ryanair Chase and Champion Chase.
Many have also tasted glory at Aintree in the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl, Melling Chase and Maghull Chase, while the King George VI Chase at Kempton has been lifted an amazing 11 times by former winners of this February showpiece.
So what of some of the names that grace that illustrious honours board? The incomparable Kauto Star (2008), a household name, is ranked as one of the greatest and most popular chasers of modern times; Cue Card (2013 & 2017) is a King George, Ryanair, Aintree Bowl and Champion Bumper winner; his old rival Silviniaco Conti (2016) has won two King Georges and two Aintree Bowls; and one of the race’s great early winners, One Man (1998), has a pair of King Georges, a Hennessy Gold Cup and a Queen Mother Champion Chase on his own glittering CV.
There’s every chance that this year’s winner could also eventually write themselves into jumps racing folklore. Don’t miss the chance to say “I was there…”
– HORSES: Tuitchev (2), Monet’s Garden (2), Riverside Theatre (2), Cue Card (2)
– JOCKEYS: Barry Geraghty (3), AP McCoy (2), Joe Tizzard (2), Norman Williamson (2)
– TRAINERS: Martin Pipe (4), Nicky Henderson (3), Paul Nicholls (3)
For tickets go to https://www.ascot.co.uk/