It’s Charlie Hall Chase day at Wetherby, with the Grade 2 being the feature contest on the card where we have Bravemansgame vs Ahoy Senor. Before that we have plenty of top class racing to get stuck into, including the Grade 2 bet365 Hurdle (Formally the West Yorkshire Hurdle) for the stayers.
GG writer Jake Russell is on hand to guide us through his selections for all seven races on the competitive card. See who’s he’s siding with and back his selections with Copybet, who are offering new customers £40 in FREE BETS when they place a £10 bet!
12.40pm – 6 Horses Challenge At bet355 Novices’ Hurdle (Class 3)
The biggest field on the card with 18 runners heading to post, it’s a race full of Novice Hurdlers so many haven’t run over obstacles as yet (Apart from a few who have run in point-to-points). Brook Bay was a winner in his only point-to-point, before going on to new connections. Where he ran in a bumper, sent off the market leader, but did disappoint and was well beaten in the end. He only ran the once in a bumper, therefore connections knew his future lies over obstacles, and he shown that by running a decent 2nd on Hurdle debut at Uttoxeter over 2 miles last time.
He was keen throughout that race, and did jump novicey on a few occasions, but the thinking here is he will come on for the run and would have learnt a lot in the process. He has race fitness, hurdling experience on his side and with the point-to-point win over 3 miles, this step up to 2m3f here will more than suit. Therefore that could very much speak for something here and he go one better than last time (He is also entered for the 2.40 at Ascot – So keep an eye out on which race he goes for).
1.15pm – Bet Boost At Bet365 Handicap Chase (Class 3)
Another very competitive contest where the market leaders are quite big prices, showing just how competitive of a race this really is. I feel Ladronne is the one to side with here. Not seen on the racecourse in over 170+ days, but he had a very consistent season last term and although he wasn’t winning, he was running well and claiming some decent places in some good contests. He’s a versatile type who can operate at this 2m3f trip and even further, and although he is currently operating off 115 which is a career high mark over fences, he has had a wind surgery since last running. That could work to his benefit here, and considering he has operated at a further trip, he could put his stamina to good use and run well here.
1.50pm – bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Listed – Class 1)
Although just a Listed contest, this is a very classy field with some very nice Mares for the season ahead, where a few of them might be aimed at the Mares Hurdle for the Cheltenham Festival in March. Kateira is a nice type in her own right but I feel she might be better at the slightly longer trip, against a horse like Luccia, who is a proven patterned performer at the 2-mile trip. A listed winner in a Bumper on her 2nd ever start before she went on to win at Listed level over hurdles last season, also placing on two other occasions in Grade 2 and Grade 1 contests. Now into open company, I would imagine she will be aimed at the all the top mares races this season. She will love any conditions but I feel the softer the better for her, as some of her best previous runs have come on ground with soft in the going description. She will be stepped up in trip for her next run after this I would imagine, and all being well she will go to the Mares Hurdle come March, a race Nicky Henderson likes to aim his class mares at.
2.25pm – bet365 Hurdle (Grade 2)
This race has a proper stalwart national hunt race feel to it, where we get to see the return of Thyme Hill. It feels as if he has been around for many years now but he is only a 9yo at present, therefore still plenty more top years ahead of him. Although he takes on some nice staying hurdle types here, who have some decent form in the past, I think he will win this and win it well. A Grade 1 winner over fences last season, hacking up in the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton, he has also won multiple Grade 1’s over Hurdles. Which includes the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle in his Novice Days and the Aintree Stayers Hurdle back in April 2021. He ran over hurdles for his final start of next season, but that was over 2m5f, so stepping back up the 3-mile trip here will suit, as he is an out and out stayer. It would be great to see him back to form over the smaller obstacles, before hopefully a stayers campaign is on the books for the season ahead. The staying hurdle division needs a bit of a sparkle and he could be the one to provide it.
The 2023/24 Jumps Season is underway and we’ve got all our team to give their ’10 to follow’ for the NH season. Jake Russell is the first to give his selections, which include a Olly Murphy runner who he has down as the most exciting Novice Hurdler to follow this season! JUNTA MARVEL (Willie Mullins)…
3.00pm – bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2)
The feature contest of the day, where we only have four runners heading to post, however we have the fascinating battle of Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor. Ahoy Senor was sent off the short priced favourite for this contest last year, where he did bomb out, and Bravemansgame did the opposite by winning it with absolute ease. He was very good that day, before going on to win the King George at Kempton by 14 lengths. He was then unfortunate to bump into Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup at the Festival, and he is a horse who as we all know is a freak of nature. Unfortunately Bravemansgame could only finish 2nd in the Gold Cup that day, beaten by 7 lengths, seemingly not seeing out the 3m2f trip and Cheltenham Hill. I feel at a flatter track that sort of trip might suit, but at this stage anything further won’t suit. However he was awesome in this contest last year, and all the ratings suggest he should be winning it again this year. It feels like the New National Hunt season is starting to kick into gear now, and it will be great to see Bravemansgame out again this weekend.
3.30pm – Never Ordinary At bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)
Whenever Willie Mullins send a horse over for a “smaller” meeting like this you have to really take not, however Alvanily was sent over to run at Market Rasen and was sent off the 1/3 favourite, where he was well beaten into 4th. Therefore I would look elsewhere, and the one that catches the eye is Windtothelightning who is lightly raced for a 5yo. The Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero mare made a bright start over hurdles last season, completing a hattrick in a novice contest at Ayr in March. She was then thrown into a very decent handicap hurdle where she finished a decent 3rd, only beaten by a length and a half. She runs off the mark of 120 here, and although she has a 200 day break to deal with here, I think she is below her mark and could easily win before progressing up the ranks to go onto bigger and better things as the season progresses.
4.09pm – bet365 Handicap Chase (Class 4)
Fitness could come to play here, and Snowy Evening would be the one to side with here, fresh off a very decent 2nd at Chepstow last time when tackling the 3-mile trip and fences for the very first time. He ran well considering it was his first run over the larger obstacles, and although beaten by just under 3 lengths he was still running on well to the line. He will be clued up for fences a little more here, and with race fitness on his side he could be the one they all have to beat. He was lightly raced over hurdles, therefore he has always been a chaser in the making for connections, and the mark of 108 might be a little lenient for that he can achieve.
Check out our Weekend Watch podcast, to see who Andrew Mount, Dave Young and Kate Tracey are siding with in all the big action on ITV from Ascot and Wetherby on Saturday:
The 2023/24 Jumps Season is underway and we’ve got all our team to give their ’10 to follow’ for the NH season. GG’s chief tipster Andrew Mount is the next to give his selections, which include two runners from champion trainer Paul Nicholls yard, as well as last season’s Irish Grand National winner. BYKER (Charles…
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