It's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase day at Wetherby on Saturday afternoon and Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post shares his three fancies.
See The Sea @ 11/1
Sporting John @ 7/4
Sam Brown @ 25/1
The Listed bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (2.25) is a strange race as the two-mile trip looks a bare minimum for a few of the runners.
While Molly Ollys Wishes landed this in good style last year, her best form is over further and the other form horse, Martello Sky, hasn’t encountered two miles in 20 months. Both make their seasonal returns and will surely have bigger targets in mind in the winter.
Nina The Terrier is respected given her race fitness and she shaped well behind subsequent winner Sonigino on her return recently.
However, two and a half miles may see her to better effect and I’m drawn to the identically rated See The Sea, who is around double the price of Nina The Terrier and is an out-and-out two-miler.
The sole front-runner in the field, See The Sea produced a decent effort when third to Sceau Royal in a Listed race at Kempton last time and would have claimed second that day but for a bad leap at the second-last.
She doesn’t have masses to find on these terms and this test will really suit, so she is taken to supply an upset.
I’m not as keen to oppose the form horse in the Grade 2 bet365 Hurdle (3.00) as Sporting John could be a cut above for Philip Hobbs.
Sporting John is a hugely talented animal on his day and his record fresh is almost perfect, the only blemish on his CV coming when he clearly wasn’t right on his chasing debut a couple of years ago.
Last seen winning a Warwick handicap in good style off a mark of 151, this seven-year-old comes out best on these terms and is reported to be in rude health by his trainer.
At his age he could yet improve further this campaign and can throw his name into the conversation for races like the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December.
He’ll be fine if the forecast rain at Wetherby arrives too.
The Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (3.35) is no two-horse race as the early odds indicate it is.
While Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor are hugely respected Grade 1-winning chasers, they make zero appeal on their seasonal returns.
The Charlie Hall could feasibly be a springboard to bigger and better things for both and each of their four rivals have something to recommend them.
I think firms are off the mark with their assessment of Sam Brown’s claims and he is picked to spring a surprise.
This lightly raced ten-year-old put it all together with a decisive handicap victory at Aintree in April in which the ground was expected to be much too quick for him.
He slammed the well-handicapped Shan Blue that day and that performance suggested he could make his mark at a higher level.
Slower ground holds no fears and his record fresh is encouraging, while he is actually still quite unexposed despite his age.
This could be a marquee day for the excellent Anthony Honeyball, who is yet to enjoy a Grade 2 winner in open company.