Clan Des Obeaux on Betfair Chase trail as £1m Triple Crown bonus is confirmed

Leading staying chaser Clan Des Obeaux is rated a 50-1 chance to emulate the mighty Kauto Star by winning this season's Betfair Chase, Ladbrokes King George VI Chase and Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, after the Jockey Club confirmed a £1 million bonus would again be offered if any horse can compete the treble. 

Only Kauto Star, trained by Paul Nicholls, in 2006-07 has landed all three races in the same campaign, although that was prior to the £1 million bonus being introduced in 2015 and Nicholls has the prize firmly in his sights after nominating Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux for leg one at Haydock on November 23. 

"Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux are two horses that, at this stage, I've earmarked for the Betfair Chase," he said. "Both are real contenders and if either managed to land the first leg then it's game on."

Owned by Paul Vogt, the prolific Frodon enjoyed his best moment when winning the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but he is 150-1 with Betfair for the chasing Triple Crown.

Last year's King George hero Clan Des Obeaux, who runs in the colours of Paul Barber, Ged Mason and Sir Alex Ferguson, is the shortest-priced horse to complete the treble at 50-1, while Betfair make it 12-1 for any horse to win it. Nicholls is fully aware how hard that will be, however.

"I still think in this generation Kauto Star is the best there's been," he added. "He was a very special horse. When he won the Triple Crown I said it would be an extremely difficult thing for any horse to repeat and I stand by that.

"But it doesn't mean it can't be done. There are some great chasers out there and the new season promises to be very competitive again."

Key dates

Betfair Chase, Haydock, November 23
King George Kempton, December 26
Gold Cup, Cheltenham, March 13

The bonus will be split between the owners (65 per cent), trainer (15 per cent), stable staff (ten per cent) and successful rider (ten per cent). 

Paul Fisher, chief executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, who insure against the bonus, said: "We're delighted to once again be offering this £1 million bonus to horses taking part in the three most prestigious Grade 1 staying chases in jump racing.

"The fact that no other horse has achieved what the great Kauto Star did nearly 13 years ago shows you not only how special he was but also how competitive this division of jump racing is. It would be fantastic to crown a new king of our sport and a great story for racing fans to share with a wider audience."

How the Betfair Chase winners have fared in their bonus hunt

2015 Cue Card
Impressive at Haydock, he narrowly denied Vautour in a thrilling King George, but the million slipped away when he fell three out behind Don Cossack in the Gold Cup.

2016 Cue Card
Slammed Coneygree by 15 lengths in the Betfair Chase only to come up short against stablemate Thistlecrack in the King George.

2017 Bristol De Mai
Haydock specialist produced a remarkable display to thrash Cue Card by 57 lengths, but was well beaten in Might Bite's King George, finishing a tame sixth.

2018 Bristol De Mai
Doubled-up in the Betfair Chase with a classy performance, although came unstuck at Kempton, falling nine out.