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21st October 2021

Close Brothers 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 TQ 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.


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

TQ VERDICT: With 15 of the last 18 winners aged 9 or younger, then this is a good place to start – of the 18 runners this might be deemed a negative for Black Corton (10), Double Shuffle (11), Aso (11), Fingerontheswitch (11) and Soupy Soups (10). A top 5 finish last time out is a plus though, while 12 of the last 18 winners carried 10-13 or more – which is a positive for the top 10 runners in the card. The consistent Clondaw Castle will be popular from the Tom George yard that won this race a few times in the past with Nacarat, but the step up in trip would be a concern for me. Cap Du Nord ran well in the Sky Bet Chase (3rd) last time and before that ran the useful Royal Pagaille to just over 3 lengths here, but he seems to just be creeping up the handicap without winning (3lbs more here than last time) and also doesn’t look great value in a race with many chances. Talkischeap was pulled up in this race 12 months ago, but had an excuse as lost a shoe – he’s 2lbs lower this time though and ran well to be third in a NH Flat race at Lingfield last time. We’ve also got last year’s winner – MISTER MALARKY (e/w) – in the race and he might be worth chancing again. Okay, he’s not the most consistent, plus he’s also rated 8lbs higher this year. But it’s interesting connections have offset most of that with Harry Kimber riding to claim 7lbs. He’s also had a wind op since his last run, when tailed off in the Sky Bet Chase, but prior to that won well at Ascot off a mark of 150, so today is actually 2lbs lower than that, with the jockey claim – the Tizzard yard have also won 2 of the last 4 runnings. The stable, also run SLATE HOUSE (e/w) and I think he’s also worth having an interest in. A good third last time out at Wincanton should have him spot-on for this and that was his first run back after a wind operation. He’s a CD winner at the track too, while this 9 year-old ticks most of the main age, form and weight trends too. Of the rest, Al Dancer, Romain De Senam and Mellow Ben are others to consider.


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