CHELTENHAM Gold Cup champion River Native will be among the field for this Saturday’s flagship Betfair Chase race at Haydock Park.

The venue’s biggest event of the year returns this weekend with a field of nine confirmed for the meeting’s headline race.

Betfair have the Gold Cup winner at an 11/4 chance for Saturday’s extended three mile and one furlong-long race, behind the evens favourite Might Bite.

Also among the runners on Saturday will be Thistlecrack at 8-1, a brilliant winner of the 2016 32Red King George VI Chase, who also produced a thrilling spectacle in the G1 Cheltenham Gold Cup in March before Native River eventually prevailed.

Bristol De Mai, who powered to a 57-length victory in last season’s renewal and was runner-up to Might Bite in the G1 Betway Bowl at Aintree in April, is at 5-1.

Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock also signifies the first leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown.

This offers a £1million bonus prize for any horse which can follow up victory in this weekend’s Betfair Chase by taking the G1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and then the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham on March 15.