Eight runners are set to go to post for today’s £100,000 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, with last years’ winner Deep Purple attempting to give weight to his seven opponents.
Heading the betting on 4/1 is the Paul Nicholl’s trained The Tother One, the mount of Ruby Walsh.
The 9 year-old ran some fine races in defeat last season without managing to get his head in front, and may just need today’s outing against some fitter rivals.
Nicky Henderson is represented by Barber Shop, owned by the queen, and can be backed at 9/2 with the sponsor, Betfred, and Ladbrokes, who are offering new customers a free £60 bet when placing a first bet of £30.
Like The Tother One, the Saddler’s Hall gelding failed to win in four attempts last season but was a creditable third behind Kauto Star in Kempton’s King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day.
Barry Geraghty’s mount goes well fresh and is the most likely winner, but needs to put two moderate runs behind him.
Last years’ victor, Deep Purple, is sure to make a bold bid in an effort to repeat last seasons’ success, but has a tough task at the weights and may find one or two too good.
Both Ollie Magern and Nacarat like to dominate up front, and with neither likely to get a soft lead the pair could set the race up for others.
With Knockara Beau’s jumping less than convincing and Calgary Bay largely disappointing, it would not be the greatest of shocks to see 40/1 shot That’s Rhythm run a big race.
Martin Todhunter’s 10 year-old looks outclassed on paper but is more than capable on a going day, and under perfect conditions can outrun his price with a fitness advantage over several rivals.