Betfair Chase favoured for Bravemansgame reintroduction

Bravemansgame is likely to reappear in the Betfair Chase at Haydock before defending his King George VI Chase crown on Boxing Day.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls will consider the Charlie Hall at Wetherby for his first run, which he won last season, but at this stage is favouring the Grade One on Merseyside on November 25.

The eight-year-old was the only horse to give Galopin Des Champs a fright in the Gold Cup and then got much closer to him at Punchestown, only for them both to be beaten by Fastorslow.

“It is highly likely he will start this season in the Betfair Chase at Haydock which has been a brilliant race for me with horses like Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti and the timing is ideal ahead of the King George VI Chase at Kempton,” said Nicholls.

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Bravemansgame (far side) ran a blinder in the Gold Cup
Bravemansgame (far side) ran a blinder in the Gold Cup (Steven Paston/PA)

“He is ticking over and could be ready for the Charlie Hall at Wetherby if the ground was suitable but we are leaning towards Haydock. It is an extremely valuable pot and Bravemansgame has won at the track.

“The ground at Wetherby was only just ok for him last year and we don’t want to be taking any chances. To keep our options open, we will probably give him an entry, too, in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury. It would be a tough ask for him off a mark of 172 but Denman won it off 174.”

One who could take in the Wetherby race is stablemate Pic D’Orhy, who won four of his five races last season, with his only defeat coming behind Shishkin in the Ascot Chase.

“I’m keen to step him up in trip and am getting him ready for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby if the ground is suitable,” Nicholls told Betfair.

Pic D’Orhy won a first Grade One at Aintree
Pic D’Orhy won a first Grade One at Aintree (David Davies/PA)



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“He is bred to stay three miles and is always keeping on at the end of his races. Then we will probably look at the Peterborough Chase. If he does stay three miles, it will open up more doors for him.”

Stage Star was another star for the stable last term and Cheltenham in November is on his radar.

“He isn’t the easiest to place but is brilliant fresh and goes straight to the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. We will then make a plan with the Ryanair Chase at the Festival a likely target in the spring. I don’t rule out a step up to three miles for him at some stage,” said Nicholls.

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