11 Horses have been entered for Saturday’s Grade 2 Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby headed by last year’s impressive four length winner Menorah who will bid to win back-to-back renewals of the extended three mile chase for in-form trainer Philip Hobbs who, in Monday’s Racing Post stable tour, stated that the ten-year-old son of King’s Theatre to be in “fantastic form” and “a phenomenal horse.”
A top price 8-1 with Betfair Sportsbook to record an eighth career victory over fences at the weekend where conditions are likely to suit according to Hobbs, who went on to say: ” he won’t mind if the ground is fast and nor will I as it will frighten off a lot of the opposition. Rising 11, he has become a bit inconsistent as he’s got older but is still capable of high-class form at his best; to think we’ve had him here since he was four.”
With running plans unclear at this early stage bookmakers are unable to agree on who should head the market for the £100k contest as, while William Hill make the David Pipe-trained Dynaste their 3-1 favourite, the grey can be backed at 5-1 with the sponsor and Betfred. Irish firm Paddy Power are fielding a more cautious approach offering just 3-1 about Colin Tizzard’s Cue Card and only 7-2 for the Grand National winner Many Clouds although the pair can be backed at 8-1 and 13-2 respectively with other layers.
Jonjo O’Neill’s Holywell, never at his best in the early part of the season, is a standout 7-1 with Paddy Power, a remark which also applies to the David Pipe ‘second-string’ Ballynagour at 8-1, possibly due to the fact that the horse holds an alternative entry in the West Yorkshire Hurdle on the same card. Paul Nicholls has two possible runners in Rocky Creek (12-1 Paddy Power) and Sam Winner (14-1 Ladbroke and Betfair Sportsbook). The possible field is completed by Rebecca Curtis’s Irish Cavalier (12-1 Betvictor and Betfair Sportsbook) and the seemingly outclassed Alderbrook Lad and The Romford Pele (33-1).