Friday, October 30, 2015

The Charlie Hall Chase 2015

Personally I've never felt the Charlie Hall a particularly lucky race; out of interest I looked up the blog's selections for this Wetherby showpiece from 2006 onwards.

The list makes for slightly better reading than I'd anticipated - seven selections, two winners and a profit of 3.5 points:

2006 No selection;
2007 State Of Play 15/8f, Second;
2008 State Of Play 5/2f, Wins;
2009 Ollie Magern 85/40, Third;
2010 Nacarat 6/1, Wins;
2011 Time For Rupert 11/8f, Second;
2012 Planet Of Sound 5/1, Fifth;
2013 Benefficient 8/1, Fourth;
2014 No selection.

Seven go to post for this year's renewal which has a particularly open feel to it. In the past ten years the favourite has obliged on three occasions but only two have carried 11-10 to victory - Our Vic (2006) and Menorah (2014). In the same time period no horse older than nine has won.  

On official ratings Dynaste looks something of a shoo-in in receipt of ten pounds from the likes of Many Clouds, Menorah and Sam Winner.

Of course, that's only half the story. I've had my fingers burned more than once with David Pipe's charge in the past; the grey is the only one in the field to come to this with a recent run under the belt but, that said, it was a poor effort over hurdles in France. His optimum trip is probably around two and a half miles, a comment that also applies to market rival Cue Card.

Colin Tizzard's charge had his stamina limitations ruthlessly exposed in the 2013 running of the King George at Kempton when he was outstayed by Silviniaco Conti (Dynaste well beaten in fourth). He missed Cheltenham in March and underwent 'corrective surgery on a small wind problem' before finishing behind Don Cossack at Aintree and Punchestown, sporting first-time cheekpieces and a tongue-tie in Ireland. The cheekpieces are omitted tomorrow.

The arrival of the rain will inconvenience Holywell more than most. I bet this one each-way in the Gold Cup where he ran a fine race to finish fourth on ground officially described as soft.

Grand National winner Many Clouds and Sam Winner are likely to relish underfoot conditions - the former has the Hennessy as his target.

Ballynagour's head second to Silviniaco Conti in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree in April gives him every chance but I've never been convinced by Menorah's jumping.

Had the rain stayed away, Holywell was to be the selection but the runners obliged to concede weight now have to do so on soft ground.

I'll side with Cue Card, hoping the breathing operation in the spring has helped the cause; the stable won the opener on today's card with Royal Vacation.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Cue Card (11/4f) returned to form to take the Charlie Hall by three and three quarter lengths from Dynaste (3/1) with Ballynagour (6/1) a neck further adrift in third.

Cue Card didn't always appear to help himself by racing keenly throughout. Pilot Paddy Brennan sent the favourite on coming into the home straight for the final time and they quickly went clear. However supporters had to suffer a severe attack of the spooks as the stride shortened noticeably approaching the last and both Dynaste and Ballynagour closed; fortunately there was enough left in the tank to collect the spoils.

Winning connections were obviously delighted. The Betfair at Haydock, a race he won in 2013, looks the likely next step - this evening Paddy Power quote 3/1, Coral 8/1. That said, Colin Tizzard was quick enough to point out they may yet consider a crack at the Hennessy a week later...