Saturday 3rd November – Wetherby, 2:40, 3m (3m 45y) bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)
The Charlie Hall Chase, which is open to horses aged five and over, was established in 1969 and was originally called The Wetherby Pattern Chase. The race was renamed the Charlie Hall Memorial Wetherby Pattern Chase in 1978 in memory of the trainer Charlie Hall. It was shortened to its present title in 1990.
Over the last 20 renewals the race has been won by eight and nine year old horses on 10 occasions, although in three of the last six renewals, it has been won by six year old runners with a seven year old runner also obliging during the same period, so the younger chasers require some careful attention.
The betting can give a clue to a likely winner, as although only three favourites have obliged in the last 12 renewals, on nine of the last 12 renewals the winner could be found in the first three in the betting.
Horses making their seasonal debuts do well in the race with 11 of the last 12 winners having their previous run at least 156 days prior to the race. Winning form is not a prerequisite as only three of the last 12 winners won on their previous start. Course form is also unimportant as only two of the last 12 winners had a previous run at Wetherby.
Distance form is a better pointer as 11 winners had run at least three times over distances between 3 miles and 3 miles 2 furlongs and nine of the last 12 winners had previously won over the same distance at least once. Horses with reasonable chasing experience tend to do well with all 12 winners having run at least five times over chase fences with 11 of the last 12 winners previously winning at least three times over the bigger obstacles.
An Official Rating of 151 of higher has been required to win the race in 11 of the last 12 renewals and 11 of the last 12 winners had also previously won a Grade 1 to 3 race.
Paul Nicholls runs Black Corton and the seven year old brown gelding would appear to have plenty in his favour. The forecast ground of Good plays to his strengths as he has won seven times on the 10 occasions he has run in Good ground. He also has a good record over the race distance, winning four times in seven runs over the trip.
Interestingly he does go well after a break. In fact since 2016 he has won on all of his starts after a break – a total five times. His trainer has also started the season really well and over the last 14 days he has saddled nine winners from 31 runners.
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