Charlie Hall Chase Preview

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Blaklion – 8-1 each-way Betfred

Twelve horses have been entered for the Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday featuring the seasonal reappearance of 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree who missed a full year due to injury between the end of that year and November 2016 when the Karinga Bay gelding went down by fifteen lengths to Cue Card in Haydock’s Betfair Chase on his eagerly awaited reappearance.

Not seen again until the following April when running well to finish a close third to reigning champion Sizing John in the Punchestown Gold Cup, the ten-year-old is obviously prone to niggling problems and may prove vulnerable to some fitter rivals at the Yorkshire venue. The hugely popular Cue Card is the obvious danger on his best form but the son of King’s Theatre turns twelve in two months time and may find the concession of 6lb to the consistent Blaklion from the in-form stable of Nigel Twiston-Davies too much.

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While Cue Card is a best price 11-4 with Coral, bookmakers are at odds regarding Coneygree who is as short as 13-8 with William Hill but available at 5-2 with the sponsor. The value however is the 8-1 offered by Betfred about the Twiston-Davies charge, one of two entries for the trainer the other being Bristol De Mai. That horse has the Betfair Chase as his main target in three weeks time and, if taking his chance, is likely to use this as a stepping stone to a more valuable prize.

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Twiston-Davies had a treble at Cheltenham on Saturday so Blaklion is unlikely to be found wanting on the fitness level and while failing to win last season put up some cracking efforts, most notably on his final start when fourth in the Grand National. The mount of Noel Fehily looked the most likely winner during the last mile of the great race but probably found the marathon trip a shade too far. The eight-year-old has always looked a potential top class chaser and could easily land a big prize or two in the months ahead.

Of the rest the 12-1 available about More Of That with bet365 would look very big if the inconsistent performer had one of his going days while Definitly Red should run a big race for the Brian Ellison stable.

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