The Charlie Hall Chase is open to 5 year olds and upwards and is a national hunt chase.
The race is a Grade 2 chase over three miles and one furlong with 18 fences to be jumped.
For 5yo+ Weights 11st Penalties after September 30th, 2015, a winner of a Class 3 weight-for-age or Class 2 handicap chase 4lb; of a Class 2 weight-for-age or Class 1 handicap chase 6lb; of a Class 1 weight-for-age chase 10lb Allowances mares 7lb
Where Cue Card's season went really well after this race last year the same can't be said for the second Dynaste who other than a good showing in the Betfair Ascot chase, his season really fell apart. He is certainly one that we want to see back on the comeback and is probably one best watched until we see his form return.
Another who ran in this race last year was Menorah. This gelding from the Philip Hobbs stable was pulled up in the race last year but then went on to have a reasonable season with his only win coming in the grade 2 Bet365 Oaksey chase at Sandown. He was the 2014 winner of this chase so if on song he looks an interesting runner at big odds even given he is now 11 rising 12.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies chaser Blaklion was a real revelation last year. He had 2 winning runs before contesting the RSA chase at the Festival a race he won in really good style. Now a second season chaser who if he has trained on could well be a lot better than his official rating. He is probably the one to try and give Cue Card a race today.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls sends his young Bay gelding Virak to the race. Although he didn't get his nose in front last year he ran some really good races finishing runner-up on four occasions. There's no doubt he has a little to find here today but is young and improving, and probably today is where the rest of this season will be mapped out.
Wakanda had a great start to the season winning his first three runs and beating his opponent today, Virak on two of those occasions. Well thought of in his stable he was up in class at the Cheltenham January meeting but got pulled up after he weakened following a mistake. He was then given a break and came back at the Aintree Festival but was never really going until he was pulled up once again. Generally speaking he has been a really consistent horse but is probably one best watched today.
The final starter in the race is the Rebecca Curtis trained Irish Cavalier. He was a really good novice but on his promotion to top-class races he did struggle a little last year. So well thought of that he ran in the King George VI Chase (fifth) and was also tried in the Gold cup where he also finished fifth. He went to the Aintree Festival and fell in the Betfred Bowl but later put that to bed winning really well in a handicap at the Punchestown Festival giving weight to most of his rivals. He has had the benefit of a run this season when he was a very modest fifth in a handicap chase at Chepstow. He looks a very interesting runner today and despite is long odds could be one to keep on the right side of.
|1||11F1-4||Cue Card||10||11-10||Colin Tizzard||Paddy Brennan||176|
|2||P31-25||Menorah||11||11-10||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson||162|
|3||P5F-15||Irish Cavalier||7||11-6||Rebecca Curtis||Jonathan Moore||159|
|4||111PP-||Wakanda||7||11-6||Sue Smith||Danny Cook||154|
|5||12113-||Blaklion||7||11-5||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Ryan Hatch||154|
|6||82749-||Dynaste||10||11-0||David Pipe||Tom Scudamore||153|
|7||22202-||Virak||7||11-0||Paul Nicholls||Sean Bowen||156|
|1||3||P5F-15||Irish Cavalier||7||11-6||Rebecca Curtis||Jonathan Moore|
|2||2||P31-25||Menorah||11||11-10||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|3||1||11F1-4||Cue Card||10||11-10||Colin Tizzard||Paddy Brennan|
|4||5||12113-||Blaklion||7||11-5||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Ryan Hatch|
|5||7||22202-||Virak||7||11-0||Paul Nicholls||Sean Bowen|
|6||6||82749-||Dynaste||10||11-0||David Pipe||Tom Scudamore|
|7||4||111PP-||Wakanda||7||11-6||Sue Smith||Danny Cook|
It was a good race today run at a challenging pace on good ground.
Dynaste took up the running early on in the race and ensured the good pace of the race. He made a few niggly jumping errors but was running well. He was joined on the final circuit by Cue Card who raced with him and took advantage when at the 14th fence Dynaste made a bad mistake and dropped back after that to finish 6th. Cue card took advantage as he jumped the fence really well and took up the lead. He was however soon joined by two horses Blaklion who seemed to be going really well and eventual winner Irish Cavalier who always seemed to be going well within himself. Cue Card was headed at the next fence and then faded into 3rd. Irish Cavalier was the one that was going the best and his jumping was good and straight and that put him ahead on the run in. Blaklion faded before the last and eventually finished in 4th as Menorah who was on and off the bridle throughout the race put up a very gutsy finish to pass the fading horses to finish 2nd. The two other runners were Virak and Wakanda who were never really going today.
The best horse today was the winner Irish Cavalier who tracked Cue Card throughout the race. The first three all had previous runs this season and therefore strapped a bit fitter than their rivals. Cue Card’s race may have been lost with his mid race joust with Dynaste when the pace was good.
Notable runs today were Menorah who despite never going well and was on and off the bridle constantly still stayed on strongly and should win another good race on good ground. Also Blaklion’s run was good before he ran out of steam, he is sure to come on for this race and the winner Irish Cavalier looks poised now for a good season.
Cue Card’s performance was disappointing but once beaten he was not given a hard time and should bounce back quickly.