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There are seven races at Carlisle on Sunday
  1. Horse Racing

Horse Racing: What A Shout

It's the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday, as the Yorkshire circuit stages a quality afternoon of National Hunt fare including the Grade 2 feature race.

On this week's What A Shout, Dave Orton was joined by Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy and bet365's Pat Cooney to preview the weekend's action, with Wetherby also staging the bet365 Mares' Hurdle and the bet365-backed West Yorkshire Hurdle - a Grade 2 over three miles.

Trainer Sam Thomas also joined the What A Shout team to talk about his weekend runners. Here's some of the best bits from What A Shout in association with bet365.

Returning Our Power goes for Gold

Former Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Thomas is now making his mark as a trainer and Iwilldoit gave him a treasured success last season in the Welsh National at his local track in Chepstow.

His yard is growing all the time and Thomas sends 5/1 Our Power to Ascot on Saturday afternoon for a crack at the London Gold Cup (3.15). He spoke to What A Shot and suggests that he has his chance though perhaps he might just come on for his return.

"It took a while to work him out last season. He showed (at Cheltenham in March) that he has bags and bags of stamina," said the trainer.

"He might just appreciate better ground. This is a seriously tough race to start with. We've done everything we can with him at home, he might just come on for this race, but he should go and run a big race hopefully.

"There are lots of races and lots of options for him this season."

Thomas also confirmed smart hurdler Good Risk At All is heading for Carlisle on Sunday, with a view to going to Ascot next month as the trainer suggests he is a horse he's "very lucky to have".

Martello Sky can defy Skelton's Wishes

First stop at Wetherby on Saturday for the What A Shout big-race previews is the bet365 Mares' Hurdle (2.25) where 5/4 Molly Ollys Wishes bids to retain the Listed prize for Dan and Harry Skelton.

She won well last year, added an Ascot Grade 2 over further in January and could be the one to beat again.

Martello Sky at 5/2 for Lucy Wadham and Alan King's improving Nina The Terrier at 7/2 are amongst her rivals.

"She lost her form a bit at the end of last season, it might have been trip-related, but I think she has some questions to answer," says Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy.

"The Skelton yard isn't firing in the winners left, right and centre as you'd expect - I'm not saying they are out of form - they are having a few winners, just not the strike-rate you would expect.

"She's only rated 1lb clear of Martello Sky, who she's giving 2lb to, and who has first-time-out form figures of 1111. I'd have made her favourite - the only reason she isn't favourite is because Molly Ollys Wishes won the race last year."

Gumball ready to put it all together

At Ascot, the Byrne Group Handicap Chase (2.40) is a deeply competitive affair in which nine contenders remains.

The likes of last year's first and second, Amoola Gold (Dan Skelton) and Monsieur Lecoq (Jane Williams), Before Midnight (Sam Thomas), Gumball (Fergal O'Brien) and Gary Moore's Nassalam are all key players.

Paul Kealy is siding with Gumball at 6/1 under Paddy Brennan.

"He hasn't won the races he should have won over fences, and he can be a little bit clumsy, but he's now a stone lower than when first given a mark over fences and he ran on the Flat recently and equalled his personal-best Racing Post Rating," says Kealy.

"All the old ability remains, and it's a case of putting in a clear round. I'd give him a decent shot."

Darby has a chance in bet365 Hurdle

The first of Wetherby's Grade 2s is the bet365 Hurdle (3.00) where Sporting John is 7/4 to make his class tell for Philip Hobbs and Tom O'Brien.

He's got last year's first and second, Indefatigable and Proschema, as well as smart novice chaser Threeunderthrufive, reverting to hurdles for champion trainer Paul Nicholls, standing in his path.

"He's clear favourite and he's a really talented horse Sporting John," says Pat Cooney. "On official ratings he's got quite a gap on the others, accepting Thomas Darby (who has to concede him 2lb).

"Proschema might have beaten him at Cheltenham last season if he hadn't come down to out, though he hasn't performed as well since."

Thomas Darby was fourth last year and, at odds of 10/1, Kealy can see a case for him.

"He's second-best on adjusted weights, and fifth best in the betting - probably as he was behind two of these in the race last year," he says.

"He came on in a big way for that, winning the Grade 2 at Newbury next time, but not only has he had a wind op since we saw him last, he's been away for a racecourse gallop and that suggests to me he's fitter going into this than last year."

Charlie Hall set for big duel

The feature race is of course the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (3.35) where 7/4 Ahoy Senor and 6/4 Bravemansgame once more face off for Lucinda Russell and Paul Nicholls respectively.

It's one win apiece for them so far over fences in direct clashes, Bravemansgame too good in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day last season, before Ahoy Senor had his revenge at Aintree in the spring.

A quality renewal sees Denman Chase winner Eldorado Allen for Joe Tizzard, join Nicholls' returning Secret Investor, Sam Brown for Anthony Honeyball and Fergal O'Brien's Paint The Dream in seeking to topple the big pair in the market.

Paul Kealy hopes that the big duo bring their best stuff to the west Yorkshire venue.

"This will be their fourth meeting already. Ahoy Senor has twice won around Aintree in Grade 1 novices (hurdles and fences), while Bravemansgame left him for dead at Kempton in between," he points out.

"You can argue that every time they've run against each other, one of them hasn't turned up (at their best). It's hard to pick between them.

"There are no excuses, other than that they might not be fully wound up, with bigger targets down the line."

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