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Betfair Denman Chase - 7th February, 2015

Jonjo O'Neill will look to enhance his Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup chances on Saturday, as the Jackdaws Castle handler has entered both Holywell and Taquin Du Seuil for what should be an informative renewal of Newbury's Betfair Denman Chase.

A premier trial for the Gold Cup, Holywell will be aiming to book his place in the blue riband event and has to bounce back from a fall at Aintree in December, whilst Taquin Du Seuil has been struggling to produce the goods and last season's JLT Novices' Chase winner will hope for a positive display here.

Coneygree was a fine winner of the incident-packed Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and he will step out of the novice sphere for this event and whilst he is still engaged in the RSA Chase could become a Gold Cup candidate with a positive result here.

Houblon Des Obeaux ran a stormer off top weight in the Hennessy Gold Cup and was then second behind The Young Master in Listed company last time out and he is at the top of his game and could be another to enhance his Gold Cup credentials.

Harry Topper won this race 12 months ago on Betfair Hurdle day and Kim Bailey's star will aim to sparkle once again, whilst Paul Nicholls's Unioniste was an impresive winner last time out and has to be considered, with the likes of Rajdhani Express and Double Ross add significant depth to what should be an informative renewal of the 3m contest.

Latest Betting for 2015 Denman Chase

7/2 Houblon Des Obeaux

4/1 Coneygree

4/1 Holywell

4/1 Unioniste

6/1 Harry Topper

13/2 Taquin Du Seuil

8/1 Rajdhani Express

16/1 Double Ross

66/1 Itoldyou

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Betfair Denman Chase History

The Betfair Denman Aon Chase is a Grade Two race run at Newbury over three miles for horses aged five years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Established in 2000, this contest was an immediate success and attracted stellar fields from the outset and the inaugural running was won by the Paul Nicholls-trained See More Business, who won at 1/3 favourite.  The Ditcheat inmate had already own the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1999 and cemented his place as one of the leading staying chasers with a facile success over Macgeorge.

It would prove to be a sign of what was to come in this contest with PF Nicholls being next to the winning trainer as the multiple champion handler won the contest no fewer than seven times between the Millennium year and 2011.

Within that magical septet saw the legendary duo of Kauto Star and Denman, with the latter now having the contest named after him following his retirement in 2011. Both managed to use this race as a springboard to the Cheltenham Festival, where they both lifted the most coveted crown of the four-day extravaganza with monumental performances at Prestbury Park.

With such an array of top class horses enlisted in the roll of honour, it has now become one of the leading prep races for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and will no doubt continue to attract some of the leading 3m chasers from the UK & Ireland.

Recent Winners of Betfair Denman Chase

  • 2000 - See More Business
  • 2001 - Shotgun Willy
  • 2002 - Bacchanal
  • 2003 - Valley Henry
  • 2004 - Shooting Light
  • 2005 - Farmer Jack
  • 2006 - No Race
  • 2007 - Kauto Star
  • 2008 - Denman
  • 2009 - Madison Du Berlais
  • 2010 - Tricky Trickster
  • 2011 - Noland
  • 2012 - Long Run
  • 2013 - Silviniaco Conti
  • 2014 - Harry Topper