Charlie Hall Chase Preview

15:40- bet365 Charlie Hall Chase

Runners Guide

By Samantha

1 Definitely Red

T- Brian Ellison
J-Danny Cook

This horse won this grade two last year by two lengths to Black Cotton, when Double Shuffle fell at the first. After that, he won the Many Clouds Chase – once again finishing ahead of Double Shuffle. He was beaten by Captain Redbeard in February but was brought down by the ill-fated Invitation Only at the tenth fence in the Gold Cup. He stayed on his feet to be fifth in the Punchestown Gold Cup. This is a good starting point for him.

2 Aso

T-Venetia Williams
J-Charlie Deutsch

Aso was a revelation last season. He won a handicap chase round Newbury easily at the end of November. He won at Cheltenham in a grade three on the first day of 2019. He was sixth to Cyrname in February but ran incredibly to be second to Frodon in the Ryanair. If running to that standard, he’s definitely in contention.

3 Ballyoptic

T- Nigel Twiston-Davies
J- Sam Twiston-Davies

Ballyoptic‘s trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies won this in 2017 with Bristol De Mai. Ballyoptic himself was second in the 2018 Scottish Grand National but was, overall, unsuccessful last year. He made a winning seasonal reappearance at Chepstow in an ultra-competitive handicap chase, beating the likes of Lil Rockefeller and Relentless Dreamer. That will put him right for this.

4 Elegant Escape

T- Colin Tizzard
J- Tom O’Brien

This horse was a second season novice last year and won on seasonal debut in a listed race at Sandown. Then he came second in the Ladbrokes Trophy and that left him in the perfect place for the Welsh Grand National, which he won very well. He was second to Frodon; sixth in the Gold Cup and then sixth in an Aintree Grade One. This is more his grade and is rated 160.

5 Top Ville Ben

T- Phil Kirby
J- Sean Quinlan

Top Ville Ben completed a double this time last year, one of which over course and distance. In February, he was well-beaten in a grade two novices’ chase and then, at the Cheltenham Festival, he was going very well in the RSA until he fell at the sixth. Six days later, he won over course and distance and then came third to top level novices Lostintranslation and Topofthegame. That was a smart run, his jumping was a lot better and he loves it here. Should run a good race.

6 La Bague Au Roi

T- Warren Greatrex
J- Richard Johnson

This horse is one of Warren Greatrex’s stable stars. She’s a lovely, noble mare with a regal quality about her. She jumps; she travels and she completed a four timer last season. It began at Newbury in a class three, then she won a grade two at that same venue beating subsequent graded level performers Talkischeap, Lostintranslation and Spiritofthegames. She won the Kauto Star Novices Chase, beating Topofthegame, on Boxing Day. She won the Flogas Novices Chase at Leopardstown and concluded the season coming second to Kalashnikov at Aintree. She’s the star quality in the race. The yard is in form.

7 Molly The Dolly

T- Dan Skelton
J- Harry Skelton

This mare was also in excellent form last season. She’s quite lightly raced and started in class three company with two novice chase victories. She was twenty lengths behind subsequent Grand National second Magic Of Light at Doncaster and wasn’t seen again until winning a class two at Ayr in April. She’s a good mare with very little weight.

SELECTION

This is a good early season grade two. LA BAGUE AU ROI is my selection as she goes well fresh and gets weight from the likes of Definitely Red and Aso, who hold strong chances. Top Ville Ben shod run well and Elegant Escape is dropping in company. Ballyoptic and Molly The Dolly may lack the necessary class.

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