Jump fans will be looking towards this Saturday with excitement and will have a keen eye on Wetherby. For me, the standout race is the “Charlie Hall Chase’, a Grade 2 race in which the leading three mile chasers will be challenging for the first big prize of the season.
The galloping track will be challenging, and a performance reminiscent of Bristol De Mai (the returning and reigning champ) in 2017 is required to claim the winning spot. Gordon Elliot will be hoping one of his 3 entrants will provide him some luck this year. Outlander looks the most promising for Elliott, I do fear this horse when he lines up because on his day he is magnificent. However, he is unreliable and only seems to perform when considered an outsider and doesn’t seem to “fancy it” too often. Also on the card for Elliott is Don Poli, who will find it difficult to keep pace and Alpha Des Obeaux who once looked promising but has bled on numerous occassions which has hampered his progress.
Definitly Red and Double Shuffle are not dismissed lightly. They both come here with big chances and if you fancy either, I wouldn’t rush to put you off them but they just seem to come up short when it really matters at this level. They both have big runs in them but they’re not getting my money this time round.
It looks likely that Black Corton will take his chance here with Clan Des Obeaux likely to be withdrawn because of the going. Working on that theory Black Corton is a very lively contender for this race. One of the big stories of last season, he catapulted himself and his jockey, Bryony Frost, to fame with numerous wins and some fantastic displays. His form has plenty of substance as well, beating some notable rivals who have gone on to frank the form time and again. Bryony has without doubt become the sweetheart of National Hunt racing over the past year, her ability to get a tune out of her mount is great to watch and she showed she’s in fine heart as well as the stable with a great win on Frodon last weekend. The ground is also in favour and I think he’ll go the pace and Bryony can produce him at the right time. Currently 7/2 he’s our pick.