Charlie Hall Chase Guide 2021

Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
1
Harry Cobden

Cyrname

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-6
OR: 168
Days: 252

Cyrname for Paul Nicholls looks to have a big chance defending his title if bouncing back to his best.

The Paul Nicholls trained nine year old, at one point was the highest rated jumps horse on the planet having been the first horse over obstacles to beat the mighty Altior.

A Grade One winner earlier in his career when taking out the Ascot Chase, many had reservations about the horse away from the Berkshire track, having only managed second in the King George VI Stakes when running at Kempton.

However, last term he made the first start of his campaign at Wetherby and ran out a very impressive winner of the event, giving the sport the vibes he was back to his best.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case being pulled up on his last two runs in the King George and Ascot Chase.

Nicholls thinks he has got him back to his best at home and if being able to give weight away to the youngsters, he has to be up there.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/02/21ASC21Sft11-7PU
26/12/20KEM24GS11-10PU
31/10/20WET24Sft11-61
15/02/20ASC21Sft11-7F
26/12/19KEM24Sft11-102
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
4
Harry Skelton

Shan Blue

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-3
OR: 148
Days: 204

Shan Blue represents Dan and Harry Skelton, with the pair looking to land their first wins in the Charlie Hall Chase; the pair hold an impressive 32% strike rate at the course in chases (12 - 37).

Shan Blue, a son of Shantou, is known to go well fresh and should have no issues returning from a 204 day break.

He was a progressive chaser last season, winning his first 3 runs within the chasing sphere, including a Grade 1 win at Kempton in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase (3m) ahead of The Big Breakaway, a victory that confirmed his credentials at the top level.

The 7yo gelding reeled out another top performance to finish 2nd for the drop back to 2m 4f in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown before heading to Cheltenham where we began to see the effects of his aggressive run style from previous races as he began to peter out, finishing 5th in the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Those weakening effects were seen once more at Aintree on his final run last season where he was beaten 32 lengths by Chantry House, albeit whilst still finishing runner-up thanks to a faller.

The Skeltons will be more than informed of Shan Blues ability now back fresh and these early season contests are where we are likely to see Shan Blue at his very best.

He's 2 from 2 at Wetherby, loves the course, and this looks like the perfect race for the runner to land another graded affair.

Connections will have targeted this contest and he looks to hold a great chance here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/22AIN25GS11-52
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-106
30/10/21WET24GS11-3F
09/04/21AIN25GS11-42
18/03/21CHL20GS11-45
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
2
Jonathan Burke

Clondaw Castle

J:
 
Jonathan Burke
T:
 
Tom George
Age: 9
Weight: 11-4
OR: 159
Days: 205

Clondaw Castle continues to be a chaser firmly on the up, landing the Grade 3 Close Brothers Handicap Chase on his penultimate run of last season prior to giving Clan Des Obeaux plenty to think about when stepping up to Grade 1 company last time out in April; although was eventually beaten by a 26 length margin.

Trainer Tom George won this race in 2010 and his runner has been known to run well fresh, a positive given he returns from a 205 day layoff.

Clondaw Castle is fairly versatile ground wise and is open to further improvement over the 3 mile trip having only had 2 starts over the distance.

He's respected here but does still look to have a bit to find on the top 2 in the market.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/10/21WET24GS11-43
08/04/21AIN25GS11-72
27/02/21KEM24Gd11-81
09/01/21KEM20.5GS11-02
11/12/20CHL20Sft11-03
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
5
Daryl Jacob

Fusil Raffles

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 152
Days: 20

Fusil Raffles was extremely progressive last season for Nicky Henderson, landing 3 of his first 4 races in Novice Chases before asserting himself as a top level performer at the Cheltenham festival when finishing a 3 length 2nd behind Chantry House in the Marsh Novices Chase, albeit assisted in the placings by the fall of Envoi Allen.

He burst a blood vessel when pulling up at Aintree on his final start last season and made his seasonal re-appearance last time out at Newton Abbot where he was unable to land too much of a blow on short priced favourite Bravemansgame, finishing runner up, despite travelling notably strongly in the 2m 5f contest.

The son of Saint Des Saints is expected to strip fitter with that run under his belt and now makes the first time step up to 3 miles.

He's open to improvement being completely unexposed at the trip however stamina is the big question mark and the statistics of progeny of Saint Des Saints show that they, on a whole, underperform at the distance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/04/22SAN21.5Gd11-43
29/01/22DON24Gd11-85
11/12/21CHL20.5GS11-74
30/10/21WET24GS11-01
10/10/21NAB21GS11-62
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
6
Jack Tudor

Kitty's Light

J:
 
Jack Tudor
T:
 
Christian Williams
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: 149
Days: 21

Kitty's Light ran a big re-appearance run last time out, going clear and getting within a head of Chirico Vallis at Chepstow.

He has plenty stamina in his locker, proven by his ability to see out 3m 5f at Sandown in the Grade 3 Gold Cup Handicap Chase on his final run of last season, running another big race to finish 3rd, although re-placed as 2nd due to being hampered.

He'll very much benefit from the ground staying the right side of good here and this 5yo will pose an interesting proposition should he have those conditions to suit.

At 5-years-old he's still very much an improving type and could have more to offer now stepped back up into graded races with a recent run under his belt.

Each way proposition, ground dependant.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/04/22AYR32GS11-82
26/02/22KEM24GS11-22
15/01/22KEM24Sft11-77
27/12/21KEM24Sft12-04
27/11/21NBY26GS11-0PU
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
7
Thomas Dowson

Top Ville Ben

J:
 
Thomas Dowson
T:
 
Philip Kirby
Age: 9
Weight: 11-0
OR: 156
Days: 188

A case can certainly be made for Top Ville Ben on his best form; he was a Grade 3 winner here over C&D in December 2019 and has an excellent record of 3 wins from 4 runs at the track.

He was however only seen once throughout the entirety of last season, pulling up in France earlier this year in a Grade 2 affair at Auteuil.

Its now hard to gauge how much ability he has retained thanks to a lack of runs and this 9yo gelding may just find himself out of his depth here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/02/22HAY24.5Hy11-42
21/01/22LIN23Hy11-01
26/12/21WET24Sft11-123
04/12/21AIN26Sft11-0F
30/10/21WET24GS11-05
Wetherby - October 29 2021
Wetherby 14:05
3
Derek Fox

Mighty Thunder

J:
 
Derek Fox
T:
 
Lucinda Russell
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 151
Days: 195

Mighty Thunder has an excellent record of 4 wins from 6 runs since switching to the larger obstacles, including a Grade 3 win in the Scottish National last time out in April.

He drops down markedly in trip to 3 miles however to be competitive here, leaving the impression that this race is simply a livener to get him fresh ahead of stepping back up in trip for the longer distance races to come.

Very much looks a horse for further down the line and is one of the early contenders for the Grand National.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/22AIN34.5GS10-10PU
05/02/22MUS31.5Gd11-11PU
27/12/21CHP30.5Sft10-10PU
30/10/21WET24GS11-44
18/04/21AYR32Gd11-11

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