Charlie Hall Chase Review

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Saturday’s Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby was expected to be dominated by the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree and the hugely popular top class chaser Cue Card. But the two principles failed to follow the script with the Mark Bradstock-trained 7-4 market leader being pulled up after suffering a nasty overreach, possibly sustained after jumping the fourth fence following a mistake at the previous obstacle, according to jockey Nico de Boinville caused by being blinded by the low sun.

Connections of 5-2 second favourite Cue Card also offered the same excuse after the eleven-year-old fell at the last fence in the back straight on the final circuit, five from home. While Colin Tizzard’s charge is likely to be seen next in Haydock’s Betfair Chase in three weeks time Coneygree has been ruled out of the three mile contest with Newbury’s Ladbrokes Trophy Chase, formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup, on December 2nd put forward as a possible alternative.

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One horse who will definitely be heading to the Lancashire venue later this month is Bristol De Mai who provided trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies with a Charlie Hall 1-2 as the grey just got the better of stablemate Blaklion, a performance full of credit given that the mount of Daryl Jacob was conceding 6lb to the runner-up, and with connections using this race as a prep for his main target at Haydock. The front two finished a long-looking twenty three lengths in front of the third horse Definitly Red so the form is rock solid.

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Betting on the Betfair Chase is currently headed by Gold Cup winner Sizing John at a best price 7-4 with bet365 but the Stoke-based bookmaker are taking a chance with their offer of 4-1 about Bristol De Mai. While the Charlie Hall winner will go into the race with a run under his belt, unlike Jessica Harrington’s charge, and is unbeaten in two starts at Haydock cantering home by thirty two and twenty two lengths respectively, it would be no surprise to see the two horses disputing favouritism come the day of the race, especially with Harrington’s other stable star Our Duke putting in a desperate effort on his reappearance at Down Royal over the weekend.

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