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The Charlie Hall Chase 2021 is shaping up to be a cracking contest – and you’ve come to the right place to swot up on the runners and riders.
Paul Nicholls’ yard had high hopes for Cyrname after a 2l victory in last year’s renewal but he was pulled up on his next two starts before missing the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The nine-year-old bay gelding has since undergone wind surgery and faces six rivals as he makes his first appearance in 252 days.
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Grade 3 winner Clondaw Castle, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase champ Shan Blue and Marsh Novices’ Chase runner-up Fusil Raffles are among the principal threats. The progressive Kitty’s Light, Scottish Grand National hero Mighty Thunder and Top Ville Ben round off the field.
Below you’ll find our thoughts on the field, who are set to go to post at 3.05pm on Saturday, October 30.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 9 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Posted top-class effort in landing this event 12 months ago but he flopped after in King George and Betfair Chase at Ascot (cheekpieces). Goes very well fresh, so taken to bounce back after a wind op.
Trainer: Tom George Jockey: Jonathan Burke Age: 9 Weight: 11st 4lbs
Continued his progress last term, well served by the step up to 3m when landing Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton before runner-up in Betway Bowl at Aintree. Not ruled out by any means.
Trainer: Lucinda Russell Jockey: Derek Fox Age: 8 Weight: 11st 4lbs
Vastly improved last season, and bagged a fourth win in Scottish National at Ayr in the spring. Likeable sort who has won off a break but this return to 3m is not ideal given his bottomless stamina.
Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 7 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Looked an exciting prospect when landing Kauto Star at Kempton last December but he wasn’t seen to very best effect after when aggressively ridden. C&D scorer who is sort to improve this term. Claims.
Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 6 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Very smart novice chaser, cracking second in Marsh Chase at the Festival, and he occupied same spot when making a pleasing return at Newton Abbot 20 days ago. Has his stamina to prove over 3m though.
Trainer: Christian Williams Jockey: Jack Tudor Age: 5 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Scored four times in a fine first campaign over fences, and he took his form up another notch when runner-up in 3m Chepstow handicap 3 weeks ago. This is another big step up, but he’s no forlorn hope.
Trainer: Philip Kirby Jockey: Thomas Dowson Age: 9 Weight: 11st 0lbs
Three-time C&D winner, including in 2019 Rowland Meyrick, but only twice raced since and pulled up in Group 2 hurdles event at Auteuil in April. Yard going well, but this is a major ask.
Timeform Verdict: Last year’s impressive winner CYRNAME again holds a clear edge on form and given his excellent record when fresh too he is fancied to get right back on track after a second wind op. Improving second-season chaser Shan Blue could emerge as the main danger to Paul Nicholls’s top-class 9-y-o with the reliable Clondaw Castle rated next best in a fascinating renewal of the Charlie Hall.
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