Betfair Denman Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Newbury 14:25
£45,000 added,
5yo plus,
2m 7f 86y, Class 1   
Sunday 21st February 2021


1 Secret Investor 14/1
2 Clan Des Obeaux 6/5F
3 Kalashnikov 10/3
7 ran NR: Dashel Drasher Distances: nk, 4¾l, 10l
Time: 5m 57.76s (slow by 13.76s)

Bryony Frost and Secret Investor gamely defied Clan Des Obeaux in a stirring finish to the Betfair Denman Chase.

Trainer Paul Nicholls had saddled nine previous winners of the recognised Gold Cup trial, with Ditcheat greats Kauto Star (2007) and Denman himself (2008) both claiming victory en route to Cheltenham glory the following month.

Dual King George hero Clan Des Obeaux, who won a rescheduled running of the Denman Chase at Ascot two years ago, was the 6-5 favourite to get back on the winning trail, having finished third when bidding for a hat-trick in Kempton’s Boxing Day showpiece on his latest outing.

However, just as he did in the King George when Frodon claimed the prize, the nine-year-old had to make do with minor honours as a lesser-fancied stable companion made every yard of the running under Bryony Frost.

Trainers Quotes

Secret Investor was a 14-1 shot, but jumped and travelled with zest to keep the pressure on the chasing pack.

Clan Des Obeaux loomed up looking a big threat under Harry Cobden, but Frost’s mount refused to bend on the run-in and after a titanic tussle, it was Secret Investor who found most for pressure to win the day by a neck.

While the race is viewed as a Cheltenham trial, Aintree was uppermost in Nicholls’ mind after the race.

He said: “I couldn’t see that happening, but having said that, he ran well in it last year and just kept galloping.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if both head now to Aintree for the Bowl.

“I told Bryony to ride him from the front because we wanted a good pace for Clan, but Harry said his horse was just carrying his head a bit high, which leads me to think we should put cheekpieces on him next time.

“It’s something we’ve considered to sharpen his mind and we gave him the benefit of the doubt until today.”

Aintree is also on the agenda for Nicholls’ Ascot Chase runner-up Master Tommytucker, although plans are undecided for stablemate Cyrname who was pulled up in the same race.

He said: “Master Tommytucker has some out of Ascot very well and will now go for the Melling Chase at Aintree, but with Cyrname he just can’t breathe and we’ll have to see with him.”

There was a sad postscript to the Denman Chase as the David Bridgwater-trained The Conditional suffered a fatal injury, with Nicholls expressing his condolences.

He added: “I was very sorry to see Bridgy lose his stable star just now and we all feel for him.”

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Betfair Denman Chase
£45,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 7f 86y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places

1     Secret Investor 9 11-0 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 14/1

2 nk Clan Des Obeaux 9 11-6 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 6/5F
Kalashnikov 8 11-0 Amy Murphy Jack Quinlan 10/3
10 Cepage 9 11-4 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 7/1
11 Lostintranslation 9 11-6 Colin Tizzard Robbie Power 7/1
PU Terrefort 710 8 11-0 Nicky Henderson Daryl Jacob 28/1
PU 241-32 The Conditional p 9 11-4 David Bridgwater Brendan Powell 12/1
NR 5 U1-311 Dashel Drasher 8 11-0 Jeremy NON RUNNER

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Betfair Denman Chase – Roll of Honour


2020 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Jonjo O'Neill Jr 10-11-06 2/5F 6
2019 CLAN DES OBEAUX Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 07-11-06 2/5F 4
2018 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Richard Johnson 08-11-06 8/11F 3
2017 NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Aidan Coleman 07-11-06 11/10 3
2016 HOUBLON DES OBEAUX Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman 09-11-00 3/1 7
2015 CONEYGREE Mark Bradstock Richard Johnson 08-11-05 15/8F 6
2014 HARRY TOPPER Kim Bailey Jason Maguire 07-11-10 7/2 5
2013 SILVINIACO CONTI Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-10 8/11F 8
2012 LONG RUN Nicky Henderson Mr Sam Waley-Cohen 07-11-10 4/7F 5
2011 NOLAND Paul Nicholls A P McCoy 10-11-00 13/2 5
2010 TRICKY TRICKSTER Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-03 8/1 6
*2009 MADISON DU BERLAIS David Pipe Tom Scudamore 08-11-06 12/1 7
2008 DENMAN Paul Nicholls Sam Thomas 08-11-10 1/4F 4
2007 KAUTO STAR Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-00 2/9F 6
2006 Abandoned – Frost
2005 FARMER JACK Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 09-11-06 12/1 8
2004 SHOOTING LIGHT Martin Pipe Richard Johnson 11-11-00 33/1 8
2003 VALLEY HENRY Paul Nicholls Barry Geraghty 08-11-06 4/1 6
2002 BACCHANAL Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 08-11-10 5/4F 7
2001 SHOTGUN WILLY Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 07-11-10 4/1 5
2000 SEE MORE BUSINESS Paul Nicholls Mick Fitzgerald 10-11-10 1/3F 6

*Run at Kempton Park when Newbury’s card was abandoned because of snow