3 LIVE C4 races at Wetherby including the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase
Wetherby – C4 TV Betting Guide
2.15 – OLBG.com Mares´ Hurdle (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) CH42m110y
Plenty of top stables on show here for this decent mares’ only hurdle and it will give us an early pointer to the big mares races at the main festivals later in the season. Lucy Wadham’s Baby Shine is worth a second glance and based on her third to the classy Simonsig in the John Smith’s Mersey Hurdle at Aintree last April then she’s certainly got the form to take this. Add in that she won’t mind any give underfoot, having won on good-to-soft and heavy in the past, then she could go well if taking her chance.
The in-form Nicky Henderson team will be represented by Une Artiste, who won last season’s Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. She followed that up with another win at Prestbury Park, but a word of caution is advised as the last time we saw her on the track she dug her heels in at the start and refused to race. Yes, she’s clearly talented and will take a bit of beating here, but for that reason the safe option is to look elsewhere for the winner.
Step forward ALASI, from the Paul Webber team. She won this race 12 months ago first time out, so clearly goes well fresh as well as having a liking for the track. If there are a few things against her then she probably wouldn’t want the ground any worse than good-to-soft, while the Webber yard are yet to hit to gear. That said, the stable do have a 31% record (4 from 13) record with their hurdlers at the track and that coupled with Alasi’s clear liking for this race then she rates the best bet.
Recommended Bet: ALASI
Danger: UNE ARTISTE
2.50 - John Smith´s Hurdle (Registered As The West Yorkshire Hurdle) Grade 2 (CLASS 1) (4yo+) CH4 3m1f
Another cracking race for National Hunt fans to saviour, with the likes of Smad Place, who was third behind Big Buck’s in last season’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle, Cape Tribulation, who landed big prizes at both Cheltenham and Aintree last term, Restless Harry, the winner of this race 12 months ago, Fair Along, the victor of this contest in 2009 and 2010, plus the classy, but sometimes quirky, Tidal Bay, who was also third in this race back in 2010, all entered at this stage.
On sheer form and with the Alan King yard in great heart then Smad Place is certainly one for the shortlist. This grey has hit the frame in 7 of his 10 hurdles starts (3 wins), and being fairly lightly-raced (still only 5 years-old) he could be in for a big season.
I’d love to see Fair Along win this race for a third time, and it’s hard to think this horse is only 10 years-old – it seems as if he’s been around forever – and is one of the few horses still in training that’s won races on the AW, flat turf, over fences and over hurdles! A spin at Ffos Las back in August would have blown a few cobwebs away, but this could be a hot little race and might have to settle for a place at best.
Cape Tribulation was last seen coming second at York on the flat, so will be fitter than most and if he brings to the table the form that saw him win the Pertemps Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival then he’s in with a big shout.
Tidal Bay won the Bet365 Gold Cup back in April, but that was over fences and now that he’s 11 year-olds old he could just need the run, while although not a huge negative Ruby Walsh is yet to win on him from three rides.
That leaves us with RESTLESS HARRY, last year’s winner of the race. He seems to go well fresh so despite not being seen on the track since April he’ll have been targeted at this prize for a while and let’s not forget he dotted up by 20 lengths in the contest last year. Yes, this renewal looks hotter, but jockey Henry Oliver gets on well with him, while the Robin Dickin yard have started the season well with 6 winners already.
Recommended Bet: RESTLESS HARRY
Danger: SMAD PLACE
3.25 - bet365 Charlie Hall Chase Grade 2 (CLASS 1) (5yo+) CH4 3m1f
Onto the ‘big one’ and this will give us the chance to see some star names back in action. Weird Al beat Time For Rupert in the race 12 months ago but with no Weird Al then this will give Time For Rupert fans a glimmer of hope.
Paul Webber's charge was last seen running an excellent fifth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but although a bit up and down these days he's still got the class to take this - he's won on a wide range of ground, so there should alos be no issues on that front, it's just a case of how fit his stable have got him.
Midnight Chase could line-up too, but it’s no secret he loves it at Cheltenham and his day might come at one of their big meetings later in the season. Nicky Henderson will be pinning his hopes on Master Of The Hall, and although a decent sort his jumping can often come into question and with 11-10 to carry he might just find a few too good – one to watch for later in the season though.
The 2010 Hennessy winner, Diamond Harry, was pulled out of the race on Friday after yet another setback - he came out of this same same at the 12th hour a year go - let's just hope it's not too serious.
Planet of Sound, from the Philip Hobbs yard, would win this on his best form, but at 10 years-old he's not getting any younger. That said, despite his age he only had 5 runs last season and there could be another big race or two left in him. He's won first time out in the past, but this will be his first visit to Wetherby.
The one they will all be hoping to beat though, based on the betting, is Paul Nicholls’ SILVINIACO CONTI. At 6 years-old he’s surely got his best days ahead of him and after running away with the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at the Aintree Festival last April then he’s sure to be popular. He is a tad short in the betting now, but the race has cut up so much from earlier on in the week then he really has been given a great chance to get off the mark for the season.
Recommended Bet: SILVINIACO CONTI
Danger: TIME FOR RUPERT
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