Close Brothers Handicap Chase Trends

The Close Brothers Chase was first run back in 1988 and was staged as the Racing Post Chase until 2011 and then the Racing Plus Chase in 2012 & 2013. Leading bookmaker – BetBright – took over the sponsorship from 2014 till 2017. In 2020 we had another new backer of the race with leading bookmaker Betway taking over, while in 2021 the race will be run as the Close Brothers Chase.

This Grade Three handicap is run over a distance of 3m at Kempton Park racecourse the contest is often described as another Grand National trial, with two horses – Rhyme ‘n’ Reason and Rough Quest – landing both races in the same season, while it could pay to know that both those horses also contested the Cheltenham Gold Cup that season.

Did You Know - 15 of the last 18 winners were aged 9 or younger and finished in the top 5 last time out.

Here at GEEGEEZ we take a look back at recent winners of the Close Brothers Chase and give you the key stats to look out for ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year run on Saturday February 27th.

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Recent Close Brothers Chase Winners

2020 – MISTER MALARKY (9/1)
2019 -  WALT (14/1)
2018 – MASTER DEE (8/1)
2017 – PILGRIMS BAY (25/1)
2016 – THEATRE GUIDE (6/1)
2015 – ROCKY CREEK (8/1)
2014 – BALLY LEGEND (28/1)
2013 – OPENING BATSMAN (12/1)
2012 – NACARAT (9/2)
2011 – QUINZ (8/1)
2010 – RAZOR ROYALE (11/1)
2009 – NACARAT (10/1)
2008 – GUNGADU (4/1 fav)
2007 – SIMON (11/2)
2006 – INNOX (8/1)
2005 – FARMER JACK (5/1)
2004 – MARLBOROUGH (8/1)
2003 – LA LANDIERE (5/1 jfav)

Key Close Brothers Betting Trends

15/18 – Finished in the top 5 last time out
15/18 – Aged 9 or younger
15/18 – Rated 139 or higher
13/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
12/18 – Won a Class 2 chase or better before
12/18 – Carried 10-13 or more
12/18 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
12/18 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
12/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/18 – Came from the top 4 in the betting
11/18 – Rated between 139 and 150
10/18 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
8/18 – Carried 11-5 or more
7/18 – Had won at least 4 times over fences before
7/18 – Won last time out
6/18 – Aged 8 years-old
5/18 – French bred
4/18 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (all unplaced)
4/18 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
4/18 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner)
3/18 – Ridden by Paddy Brennan
2/18 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
2/18 – Ridden by Richard Johnson (won it 5 times in all)
2/18 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
2/18 – Trained by Tom George
2/18 – Trained by Neil Mulholland (won 2 of the last 4)
2/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (won 2 of the last 4)
2/18 – Trained by Philip Hobbs (won it 4 times in all)
2/18 – Ran in the King George VI Chase last time out
Mister Malarky (9/1) won the race in 2020
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 12/1
Note: The 2006 running was staged at Sandown Park








Mister Malarky on course to defend Kempton title

Last year’s winner and runner-up Mister Malarky and Black Corton are on course to do battle again in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton.

Colin Tizzard’s Mister Malarky landed another big pot at Ascot in December, but was a distant seventh most recently in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

Paul Nicholls’ Black Corton, due to top the weights as he did 12 months ago, will need to bounce back on Saturday after a rare disappointing run last time out when he was pulled up at Cheltenham in December.

Aso, second at Warwick recently, Cap Du Nord, third in the Sky Bet, and Kempton specialist Double Shuffle are also among the 19 remaining possibles.

There should be Cheltenham clues elsewhere on the card, with Alan King’s Tritonic entered in both the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle and the Close Brothers Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.

A classy performer on the level, he made a winning debut over hurdles at Ascot.

Also in the Dovecote is Nicholls’ Atholl Street, Dan Skelton’s Calico and Emmett Mullins’ Irish Cesarewitch winner Cape Gentleman.

There are 16 possibles in the Adonis – with Nicky Henderson’s Heross Du Seuil, a Kempton winner over Christmas, and Jane Williams’ Honneur D’Ajonc, a late faller when leading in the same race, due to face each other once more.

Adding intrigue is the French challenger Margaret’s Legacy – while Skelton could run John Locke, useful on the Flat for Ralph Beckett.

Hitman, Ga Law, Messire Des Obeaux and Coole Cody are among seven in the Close Brothers Pendil Novices’ Chase.

Mister Malarky provides timely boost for Tizzard

Mister Malarky provided the Colin Tizzard yard with a much-needed pre-Christmas tonic when returning to winning ways in the Good Luck Hollie In SPOTY Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot.

Winners have not been flowing with their usual fluency from the stable in the first half of the season – which must have been hard to fathom, given their understandable optimism as the campaign began.

Mister Malarky had shown little since winning a valuable handicap at Kempton in February, but he has always had plenty of ability.

To the fore throughout under Harry Cobden, with retained rider Robbie Power in action at Haydock, he barely put a foot wrong.

When joined late on by The Conditional and Ascot specialist Regal Encore, Mister Malarky (16-1)  pulled out more to score by a length and three-quarters from David Bridgwater’s Cheltenham Festival winner.

Cobden told ITV Racing: “Things haven’t quite been going right for them (the Tizzard stable) in the early part of this year, but this lad has gone and won.

“I’ve had plenty of success for them in the past. But of late Robbie (Power) has been riding them, so to win on this lad today is great.

“He’s enjoyed it, travelled well and jumped great. He was looking about on the run-in today – but when The Conditional joined him he went again, so I’m delighted.

“I’d ride him in the National – he wouldn’t touch a twig.”

Betfair introduced the seven-year-old at 40-1 in their ante-post market for Aintree.