The Jockey Club announced on Tuesday that a £1million bonus would be paid out to any horse who can win the so-called Chase Triple Crown this season. The new incentive is designed to boost the chances of a horse trying to win the Betfair Chase, the King George Chase and the Gold Cup this season as Kauto Star did so famously back in 2006/07.
No horse has managed to nail the Triple Crown since the great Kauto Star did so but there are a number of horses who conceivably could attempt it this year and the betting market has already been a popular one. The £1million bonus would be split between Owner (65%), Trainer (15%), Jockey (10%) and Stable Staff (10%) and will now be interesting to see if it does change the plans of any horses this winter.
The immediate favourite at a best price of 20/1 with Bet365 to win the Triple Crown is Vautour, who is expected to step up in trip this season for Willie Mullins. The JLT Novices Chase winner from last season is already favourite for the second two legs but so far connections have shown no sign that a trip to the Betfair Chase is on their agenda.
Other horses to consider include Silviniaco Conti (80/1) who won the Betfair Chase and the King George last season which could put him in the frame, although he has never performed well in the Gold Cup and a trip to Cheltenham is unlikely for him as it stands. Current Gold Cup hero Coneygree (33/1) is also a contender for Mark Bradstock although he is far from certain for the Betfair Chase at this stage, with the Hennessy Gold Cup perhaps a more likely target for the him in November.
In truth, it is hard to see any horse winning the £1million bonus this season but it will certainly dangle a carrot for the connections of whichever horse claims the Betfair Chase at Haydock next month, and that coupled with plenty of social media talk means the new initiative from The Jockey Club has already done its job!