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Wetherby Charlie Hall Meeting  

Wetherby Racecourse

2006 race

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Faasel Among 16 Entries for the Grade Two Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase

The £90,000 Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (3.30pm) over three miles and a furlong at Wetherby on Saturday, November 3, promises to be a fantastic spectacle with 16 high-class chasers entered at today’s five-day stage.

Cumbria trainer Nicky Richards witnessed his father, Gordon Richards, saddle the great One Man to success in 1997 and could bid to emulate that victory with Faasel (12/1 with bet365) in the prestigious contest, race three in the Order Of Merit, which is being sponsored for the fifth time by bet365, one of the UK's leading betting and gaming groups.

The versatile Faasel is also one of 17 horses entered for an excellent renewal of the Grade Two John Smith’s Hurdle (2.20pm) over an extended three miles on the same seven-race card.

Richards revealed today: “Faasel could go for the bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase. I will look at the entries for Wetherby and he will run where I think he has the best winning chance, in either the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase or the John Smith’s Hurdle.”

The classy six-year-old finished fourth to My Way De Solzen in the Grade One Arkle Trophy over two miles at Cheltenham in March before chasing home fellow bet365 Charlie Hall entry, the Ferdy Murphy-trained Aces Four (4/1), in the Grade Two John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase over three miles and a furlong at Aintree the following month.

The Greystoke handler said: “Faasel has done well over the summer and has enjoyed a good preparation. He is a decent horse and hopefully we can look forward to a good season with him.

“He could drop back to two and a half miles during the course of the season and we may even go down to two miles as he was fourth in the Arkle at Cheltenham.”

The tremendous entry also includes the Evan Williams-trained Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup hero State Of Play who is the current 7/2 favourite with bet365, 2005 Grade One Betfair Chase winner Kingscliff (8/1) from Robert Alner’s Dorset yard, the Henry Daly-trained Grade Two Ryanair Chase third Billyvoddan (8/1) and 2005 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase victor Ollie Magern (8/1).

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has entered last season’s Grade Two-winning novice Turko (9/1) and Philip Hobbs has put in Monkerhostin (8/1), while the Peter Bowen-trained Summer Plate winner Iron Man (8/1) is also engaged and David Pipe could bid to match Our Vic’s success in last year’s contest with Joaaci (33/1) and Madison du Berlais (10/1).

The remaining entries are Heltornic (20/1) and Espoir Du Bocage (250/1) from the Michael Scudamore yard, the Howard Johnson-trained pair of Bewleys Berry (25/1) and Theatre Knight (33/1), and the Paul Murphy-trained Sybellius D’Artaix (250/1).


Kingscliff Ready for Hot Renewal of the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase 27/10/07

The Robert Alner-trained Kingscliff is looking to strike a blow for the old guard in the £90,000 Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase over three miles and a furlong at Wetherby on Saturday, November 3.

Denman is likely to feature


Alner revealed today: “Kingscliff is aiming for the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase. He has run in the race a couple of times before and we are very happy with him.”

The 10-year-old, winner of the Grade One Betfair Chase in November 2005 after finishing runner-up in that season’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase, took fourth behind Our Vic in the Wetherby feature 12 months ago and is bidding to make it third time lucky in the race.

Alner’s charge is likely to face a stiff test in the Grade Two contest, race three in the 2007/2008 Order Of Merit, which is likely to feature last season’s top novice Denman, trained by Paul Nicholls and fellow top-class second season chaser Aces Four from Ferdy Murphy’s North Yorkshire yard.

The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is sponsored by bet365, one of the UK's leading betting and gaming groups, and the mouth-watering highlight is also set to include the Evan Williams-trained State Of Play, winner of the Grade Three Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup in November.

Kingscliff ran his best race of the 2006/2007 campaign on his final start in the Grade One Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup when he finished second to last season’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase runner-up Neptune Collonges.

Alner said: “We were very pleased with his last run at Punchestown so we are hoping for another performance like that. He is well and has done plenty of work.

“Obviously, it is going to be a very hot race with the likes of Denman running but Kingscliff will run his race.

“Last year the going was pretty soft in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase and he was giving weight to most of them and this year he is receiving some, so we will see. There is no reason why he should not run up to his form.”

Michael Hourigan is adept at mounting successful assaults across the Irish Sea from his County Limerick base and the trainer is considering the Wetherby contest for smart second season chaser Mossbank.

The promising seven-year-old, Grade One-placed over hurdles as a novice, made a winning seasonal debut at Limerick in the valuable National Handicap Chase over three miles on October 14.

Hourigan, who saddled Church Island to finish seventh in the race last year, revealed today: "I am looking at the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase as a possible next target for Mossbank. I was very pleased with his win at Limerick but the handicapper was very severe for two and a half lengths and the Wetherby race is a Grade Two, so I am considering it.

“He came out of the race well and he goes on most ground so that is not a worry.”

The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is traditionally a pointer to further big-race glory and last season’s contest went to the David Pipe-trained Our Vic who defeated subsequent Grade One Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup hero Neptune Collonges.

The great Gordon Richards-trained One Man scored back-to-back victories in 1996 and 1997 under Richard Dunwoody, while Cheltenham Gold Cup hero See More Business took the Wetherby prize in 1999 and 2000.

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