The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is widely regarded as the first major staying chase of the National Hunt season in Britain.
After a summer recess, jumps racing tends to begin ramping up the pace in October and the bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting at Wetherby is an integral part of that process.
|What||bet365 Charlie Hall Chase|
|Where||Wetherby Racecourse, West Yorkshire|
|When||Saturday 4th November 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV & Racing TV|
This year the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase takes places on Saturday 4th November. The race sometimes takes place in late October and otherwise falls in the first week of November.
The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase takes places at Wetherby Racecourse in the heart of West Yorkshire. It is billed as the North's opportunity to see the big guns of the jumps racing world up close and personal.
The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is a Grade 2 steeplechase open to horses aged five years and older. It is run over a distance of three-miles, with 19 fences to be jumped along the way.
The race was established in 1969 as the Wetherby Pattern Chase and has become an integral part of the staying chase pattern in Britain, now taking the name of former trainer Charlie Hall, while it has been sponsored by bet365 since 2003.
The race has been won by some genuine stars of the jumps game. Dual winners include Wayward Lad, Celtic Shot, Barton Bank, One Man, See More Business and Ollie Magern.
See More Business won this race in 1999 and 2000 having become Paul Nicholls' first Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the final renewal of the race in the 20th century.
There are a trio of jockeys who have won the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase on three occasions - Graham Bradley, Carl Llewellyn and Mick Fitzgerald - while Harry Cobden and Daryl Jacob are the leading active riders with two wins apiece.
No trainer can match Nigel Twiston-Davies' tally of six wins, the Naunton handler having sent out Tipping Tim (1992), Young Hustler (1994), Ollie Magern (2005, 2007), Bristol de Mai (2017) and Ballyoptic (2019) to win at Wetherby.
Very few horses this century have matched the popularity of Cue Card and he won the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase in 2015 for trainer Colin Tizzard and rider Paddy Brennan.
That season he would win further Grade 1s at Haydock and Kempton, before falling in the Cheltenham Gold Cup three fences from home when travelling well. He won the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl soon after.
In 2018, Yorkshire-based trainer Brian Ellison provided a popular win with crowd favourite Definitly Red, ridden by Danny Cook.
In what was a thrilling race, Bryony Frost and Black Corton were second, an impressive run given Frost was nearly unseated at the third fence and briefly lost her irons.
The race was run behind closed doors in 2020 as Cyrname cruised to victory for Nicholls and Cobden, while in 2021 Fusil Raffles scored for Jacob and Nicky Henderson after Shan Blue crashed out three from home when holding a big lead for Dan and Harry Skelton.
The most recent winner was Bravemansgame for Nicholls/Cobden and he also went on to win the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day before finishing second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The exact line-up for the 2023 running won't be known until closer to the time. Paul Nicholls has stated that Bravemansgame is unlikely to defend his crown, with Haydock next month the preferred target for him.
The Ditcheat supremo's bid for a third bet365 Charlie Hall Chase win in four years is instead likely to be led by stablemate Pic D'Orhy, who won four of his five races last season, with his only defeat coming behind Shishkin in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February.
"I'm keen to step him up in trip and am getting him ready for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby if the ground is suitable," Nicholls said recently. "He is bred to stay three miles and is always keeping on at the end of his races."