January 2023

1965 Chase

The 1965 Chase is a Grade 2 steeplechase run over 2 miles, 5 furlongs and 8 yards at Ascot in November. The race was inaugurated, as the H & T Walker Goddess Limited Handicap Chase, in 1981, but has been run in various guises down the years.

Initially contested over 2 miles and 4 furlongs, its distance was shortened to 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 110 yards in 1992 and again, to 2 miles, 2 furlongs and 175 yards in 2006, following the partial reconstruction of the National Hunt course at Ascot, before being lengthened to its current yardage in 2015. In 2006, the race was also renamed, to commemorate the year in which National Hunt was first staged at Ascot and, three years later, became a weight-for-age, conditions race, rather than a limited handicap. Nowadays, the 1965 Chase is open to horses aged four years and upwards with an official handicap rating of 120 or more.

Reigning champion trainer Paul Nicholls has saddled seven winners of the 1965 Chase – namely Cerium (2006), Master Minded (2010, 2011), Al Ferof (2013, 2014), Politologue (2018), Cyrname (2019) – and is the most successful handler in the history of the race. Other notable winners during the last five decades include three-time King George VI Chase winner Wayward Lad (1981), Grand National winner Red Marauder (1998) and dual Ryanair Chase winner Albertas Run (2008).

At the time of writing, the 2022 renewal of the 1965 Chase – due off at 2:05pm on Saturday, November 19 – is less than three weeks away. The ante-post market is yet to take shape, but recent trends suggest that punters would do well to concentrate on the first three in the betting, which have produced the winner in all bar one of the last ten renewals; including joint favourites, six starting price favourites have win the 1965 Chase since 2012.