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Betfair Denman Chase: Shishkin v Protektorat

As we assess the prospects of both Shishkin and Protektorat, we’ll also cast our eye over the rest of the field, predicting who is most likely to spring a surprise

Betfair Denman Chase: Shishkin v Protektorat
Betfair Denman Chase: Shishkin v Protektorat

There’s a red-hot card at Newbury this Saturday with the Betfair Denman Chase one of the day’s highlights. As one of the key Cheltenham Gold Cup trials, this race should tell us a lot more about the Cheltenham Gold Cup prospects of the race’s leading duo. As we assess the prospects of both Shishkin and Protektorat, we’ll also cast our eye over the rest of the field, predicting who is most likely to spring a surprise. Our preview will include race odds and free bet offers from race sponsors, Betfair.

Shishkin v Protektorat

The latest market odds suggest this year’s Betfair Denman Chase renewal could turn into a two-horse race. Shishkin is likely to go off as the odds-on favourite despite failing to complete a race in two attempts over the autumn. Shishkin refused to run when 8/13 for a Grade 2 at Ascot in November before an agonising fall two out when leading the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Shiskin won both the Aintree Bowl and Ascot Chase in 2023 and based on the form in those Grade 1 races, he is a justified favourite. He did, however, have to settle for second place in last year’s Ryanair Chase.

Shishkin lands the Ascot Chase in 2023

The big danger at Newbury on Saturday will inevitably come from the Dan Skelton-trained Protektorat. The nine-year-old, Protektorat has not won since landing the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November 2022 but has shown ominous progress in his past two races. In December, he finished just three lengths off the winner in a competitive handicap chase over 3m 2f at Cheltenham before finishing second to L’Homme Presse when stepping down in trip in the Fitzdares Fleur De Lys Chase at Lingfield last month. 

Protektorat’s owners have grabbed the headlines this week following the record-breaking purchase of Caldwell Potter; a horse that has ironically also been mooted as a future Cheltenham Gold Cup contender.

Can Hitman upset the favourites?

Shishkin and Protektorat will face three other rivals on Saturday and the main danger is likely to come from another horse co-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. Hitman is trained by ten-time Denman Chase winner, Paul Nicholls. Hitman made his first reappearance since undergoing wind surgery at Cheltenham in January and despite fading to finish 9/13, he will undoubtedly be better for that run come Saturday.

Betfair Denman Chase odds

HorseOdds
Shishkin8/13
Protektorat2/1
Hitman10/1
Does He Know14/1
Sam Brown25/1