Okay, we’ve still got the November Handicap next weekend, but the focus is already switching to the jumpers and we hit the ground running this Saturday with the Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Some familiar faces line-up, however, with the ground not as soft as normal for this time of the year the race has cut up a bit with only five runners heading to post.
We’ve still got last year’s third – Definitly Red – running and being the only proven course and distance winner in the field then this Brian Ellison-trained nine-year-old is sure to be popular. Trainer Paul Nicholls has his horses in good order during this early part of the new season too and he’ll be looking to win the race for a fourth time – on this occasion with Black Corton.
With 25% winning favourites in the last sixteen years, plus 81% of the last sixteen successful horses returning 7/1 or shorter, then it’s also a race the punters seem to get right more often than not – but will it be the same this year?
You can get more help finding the winner of the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase on our ITV Tips page
Plus, to help pin-point the best winning profile of the 2018 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase we are on-hand with some key trends and statistics.
We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse we’ve not featured below then simply apply these stats to that runner.
- 14 of the last 16 winners were having their first runs of the season
- 13 of the last 16 had won over at least 3m (fences) before
- 13 of the last 16 winners returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
- 11 of the last 16 aged eight or older
- 11 of the last 16 won at least four times over fences
- 10 of the last 16 winners ran at Ayr (3), Cheltenham (2) or Aintree (5) last time out
Trends – Key Runners
Black Corton ✅✅✅❌✅✅
Definitly Red ✅✅✅✅✅✅
Double Shuffle ✅✅✅✅❌❌
Regal Encore ✅✅❌✅❌❌
Black Corton hails from the powerful Paul Nicholls yard and is certainly a leading player. This seven-year-old shot up through the novice chasing ranks last season – winning five times – and even though his season fizzled out a bit, with average runs at Cheltenham and Aintree, he might have just been a bit over-raced. A break is sure to have done him good and he’s got a very decent record fresh. His best runs have been when racing up with the pace and jockey Bryony Frost has built-up a fabulous partnership with him – winning on him seven times. Of our six key trends he also only falls down on the age stat, but with four of the last six winners aged seven or younger there could be a slight shift happening regarding this trend. If he gets his own way up front then could be dangerous.
Definitly Red is the only horse featured that ticks ALL of our six main trends so must be taken seriously. Yes, he was well beaten in this race twelve months ago, when third, but he improved on that run by going onto win the Many Clouds Chase and Cotswold Chase later that season. He’s also a course and distance winner and from three runs at the track is yet to finish out of the first three. This Brian Ellison-trained nine-year-old seems to act well on most ground and has won many times on described as ‘good-to-soft’ so he’ll only need a slight ease in conditions. Those again him will look to his heavy defeat in the race last year but the trends suggest he’s a horse to ignore at your peril.
Double Shuffle made a name for himself last Christmas when running second in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day – only beaten a length behind Might Bite. As a result, his rating shot up from 151 to 166 and since that effort he’s failed to justify that new mark, being well-beaten in his next two starts. The trends see him fall down on two of our six, with having won just twice (from sixteen starts) over fences being one of those negatives. The better ground is, however, a plus for him so he’s sure to attract support based on that. Having said that, with only one victory from his last thirteen starts he’s not an easy horse to catch right – his last three seasonal reappearances have seen him finish second each time – so maybe he’s one for the forecast backers!
Virgilio will be looking to give trainer Dan Skelton his first success in this race and with the good ground a big plus for him then this nine-year-old looks to have a lot going for him. He fell in the Grand National back in April but bounced back from that by recording two ‘good ground’ wins at Aintree and Uttoxeter over the Spring and Summer. Yes, this will be his toughest task to date but despite his age he seems to still be improving and – as mentioned – with conditions a huge plus for him then he can go well. The trends back this up too as he gets positives for all-bar-two of our main stats. However, even though he was in action in the Summer he’s been off the track for around four months so the negative ‘first run of the season’ stat can be taken with a pinch of salt.
Regal Encore is the oldest horse in the race at ten-years-old but he’s also the joint-lowest rated in the line-up (153). He’s shown bits of good form over the years that means he can’t be totally ruled out, but it is worth noting his last two wins have both been at Ascot. Also, despite his experience (eighteen career runs) he’s only won three times over fences so that’s one of the main trends that he falls down on. In fact, from our six stats he only gets pluses on half so really it would be a bit disappointing if at least one of the others can’t see him off.
Every Wetherby race covered live on ITV can be found on our Wetherby Racing Tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.