Charlie Hall Chase 2012 

2011 Charlie Hall Chase

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Midnight Chase On Course for Wetherby

Trainer Neil Mulholland believes his stable star Midnight Chase is as good as ever as he prepares the 10-year-old’s seasonal return in the £100,000 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday, November 3, 2012.

Midnight Chase
© Racehorse Photos

Midnight Chase
Midnight Chase gained the biggest victory of his career last season when making all the running to win the Group Two Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January and was subsequently seventh in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

He had previously finished third under top-weight in the Grade Three Betfair. Don’t Settle For Less Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day after falling at Down Royal on his seasonal reappearance.

Mulholland, who trains near Bath, said: “Midnight Chase is hopefully going to run in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase. I am delighted with him. He is in great form and looks as good as ever.

“We targeted the Argento Chase last season and we won it so that was great and he was also third in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby which was a creditable performance.

“He seems as good as he was before he won the Argento and he worked well at the weekend. The Argento is the big aim for him again this season but he will be fit and ready for the Charlie Hall Chase because he is a lot further forward this year than he was last year. If he gets the right ground, he will run a big race.

“I would have to speak to Lady Clarke (owner) about the plan in between the Charlie Hall Chase and the Argento Chase, but the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas could be a strong possibility.

“I’m not going to campaign him that hard because the Argento took its toll on us in the Gold Cup last year, so this year I’d rather go Charlie Hall, Argento and then try and get to Cheltenham but we could also go to the Charlie Hall, Leopardstown, Argento and then miss Cheltenham and Aintree.

“You might only see him three or four times this season but he will be ready to rock and roll when he runs.”

Run over three miles and a furlong, the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase has a fine roll of honour which includes Wayward Lad (1983 & 1985), Burrough Hill Lad (1984), Forgive ’n Forget (1986), Barton Bank (1993 & 1995), One Man (1996 & 1997), See More Business (1999 & 2000) and Our Vic (2006).

Weird Al
© Racehorse Photos

Weird Al
Last year the contest was won in great fashion by Weird Al and his trainer Donald McCain has indicated the lightly-raced nine-year-old will begin his campaign in the Grade Two again this season.

An exciting seven-race card at Wetherby on bet365 Charlie Hall Chase Day also features the £32,000 Grade Two John Smith’s Hurdle and the three mile and one furlong contest is an ideal starting point for some of the country’s top staying hurdlers.

The race has been won by subsequent Aintree Hurdle scorer Pridwell (1997), three-time World Hurdle scorer Inglis Drever (2005) and top-class stayer Black Jack Ketchum (2007). Racing starts at 12.35pm that day.

The two-day bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting gets underway with a six-race card on Friday, November 2, headlined by the £23,500 Listed bet365 Handicap Chase over an extended two and a half miles and the £15,000 Listed Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Bloodstock Juvenile Hurdle over an extended two miles. The first race is due off at 1.00pm.

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