bet365 Charlie Hall Chase
Grade 3 Handicap, Wetherby 14:40
£100,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 45y, Class 1    
Saturday 3rd November 2018

1 Definitly Red 3/1
2 Black Corton 5/4F
3 Virgilio 15/2
4 ran NR: Regal Encore Distances: 2l, 3l
Time: 5m 58.00s (slow by 1.00s)

Definitly Red digs deep to win under Danny Cook

Definitly Red
© Racehorse Photos
Definitly Red

With the high-profile pair of Bristol De Mai and Thistlecrack not declared on account of the ground and Regal Encore declared a non-runner on Saturday morning, a field of just four runners went to post for the West Yorkshire track’s feature event of the season.

And that number was soon reduced by one after Double Shuffle suffered a crashing fall at the very first fence.

That was not the end of the drama though, as just two fences later Bryony Frost performed miracles to stay on board 5-4 favourite Black Corton after he ploughed through the first open ditch.

Black Corton regained his momentum to maintain the lead before the Brian Ellison-trained 3-1 shot Definitly Red, winner of last season’s Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham before finishing sixth in the Gold Cup and unseating Cook at Aintree, took over with over a circuit to run.

With Virgilio dropping away slightly, it turned into a straight shootout in the home straight and try as he might, Black Corton could never quite get on terms, with Definitly Red passing the post two lengths to the good.

Ellison is currently in America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting, but Cook said: “He likes good ground and he really enjoyed himself today.

“He’s perfect for me because he races behind the bridle a little, but he keeps finding for pressure.

“He’s done wonders for me and I love riding him.

“I think he enjoyed the slight step down in class today.”

Owner Phil Martin pointed to Aintree a likely next port of call for Definitly Red, but expressed some doubt about trying to defend his Cotswold Chase title if the team decide to take the Gold Cup route again.

He said: “I think when he won the Cotswold Chase last season that left a mark on him in the Gold Cup, so if we’re thinking that way this year he wouldn’t run in it, that’s if we’re being serious.

“The next obvious race for him is the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree he won last year. It’s a small field and he likes to boss them, he’s much better in smaller fields.

“He’s a fantastic jumper and him and Danny are a match made in heaven.

“This is a race I’ve always wanted to win. Brian wasn’t keen to run, but I twisted his arm.

“He’s just shy of top class, but he’s a proper Grade Two horse.”

Frost was relieved to have maintained her partnership with Black Corton and far from disheartened by his effort.

She said: “Let me just pick my heart up off the floor. It was a silly mistake, I shouldn’t have been up there, but he stuck his neck out and made sure I didn’t fall off.

“He’s run great, he’s fresh and happy, we’re all in one piece and live to fight another day.”

Paul Nicholls was satisfied with Black Corton’s performance and could now look towards the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on December 1.

He said: “The winner is rated 164 and we are rated 153, so he has run a really good, solid race. 

“I’d have preferred to be upsides turning in rather than two lengths behind, but I supposed he got a bit out of rhythm but it was a good sit by Bryony. It was a step up in class to what he was running in last year and he ran well. 

“Black Corton won’t find it as easy as last year as it is a bit of a different ball game – he was able to boss around horses that he was better than. I suppose we will look at something like the Ladbrokes Trophy with him.”

Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase
£100,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 45y, Class 1
4 ran
Going: Good, Good to Firm in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Definitly Red (IRE) 3/1 Danny Cook
B Ellison 9
2nd 2 Black Corton (FR) 5/4f Bryony Frost
P F Nicholls 7
3rd 3 Virgilio (FR) 15/2 Bridget Andrews
D Skelton 9
F Double Shuffle (IRE) 5/2 A P Heskin
T R George 8
NR Regal Encore (IRE) Non Runner
A J Honeyball 10

The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase - Roll of Honour
2017 Bristol De Mai  6-11-06 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede   Nigel Twiston-Davies Daryl Jacob 6/1 8
2016 Irish Cavalier  7-11-06 Andrew McIver   Rebecca Curtis Jonathan Moore 16/1 7
2015 Cue Card   9-11-00 Jean Bishop   Colin Tizzard Paddy Brennan 11/4F 7
2014 Menorah   9-11-10 Diana Whateley   Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 8/1 7
2013  Harry Topper   6-11-06 D J Keyte    Kim Bailey Jason Maguire  5/1  7
2012  Silviniaco Conti   6-11-05 Chris Giles & Potensis Ltd   Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh  11/10F  6
2011  Weird Al    8-11-06 Brannon Dennis Dick Holden   Donald McCain Timmy Murphy  7/1  7
2010  Nacarat     9-11-00 Simon Clarke   Tom George Sam Thomas  6/1  8
2009  Deep Purple   8-11-05 Paul Green   Evan Williams Paul Moloney  9/2  5
2008  State Of Play  8-11-00 William & Angela Rucker   Evan Williams  Paul Moloney  5/2F 6
2007  Ollie Magern  9-11-00 Roger Nicholls   Nigel Twiston-Davies Paddy Brennan  11/4 7
2006  Our Vic    8-11-10 David Johnson    David Pipe  Timmy Murphy  6/1  10
2005  Ollie Magern   7-11-05 Roger Nicholls   Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn  11/4F  8
2004  Grey Abbey   10-11-06  Ken & Elinor Roper, Norman Furness  Howard Johnson  Graham Lee  5/1  6
2003  Ballybough Rasher  8-11-00 Comtake-Welding Engineering Specialists Howard Johnson  Graham Lee  40/1  6
2002  Marlborough   10-11-00  Sir Robert Ogden   Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald  7/2  8
2001  Sackville    8-11-05 Seamus O'Farrell   Frances Crowley IRE David Casey  5/1  9
2000  See More Business  10-11-12  Paul Barber   Paul Nicholls Mick Fitzgerald  1/3F  4
1999  See More Business 9-11-12 John Keighley & Paul Barber   Paul Nicholls Mick Fitzgerald  11/4JF  6
1998  Strath Royal   12-11-03  Lady Anne Bentinck  Owen Brennan Martin Brennan  14/1  5
1997  One Man    9-11-10 John Hales   Gordon Richards Richard Dunwoody  4/7F  4
1996  One Man    8-11-10 John Hales   Gordon Richards Richard Dunwoody 8/11F  4
1995  Barton Bank   9-11-02 Jenny Mould   David Nicholson Adrian Maguire  8/15F  3
1994  Young Hustler   7-11-10 Gavin Macechern   Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn  8/1  7
1993  Barton Bank   7-11-02 Jenny Mould   David Nicholson Adrian Maguire  12/1  7
1992  Tipping Tim   7-11-02 Jenny Mould   Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn  11/4  7
1991  Celtic Shot   9-11-10 D E H Horton   Charlie Brooks Graham Bradley  4/5F  6
1990  Celtic Shot   8-11-02 D E H Horton   Charlie Brooks Peter Scudamore  7/4F  7
1989  Durham Edition   11-11-02  Robert Oxley   Arthur Stephenson  Alan Merrigan  33/1  7
1988  High Edge Grey   7-11-02 J B Stone    Ken Oliver Tim Reed 13/2  10
1987  Cybrandian   9-11-02 Ian Bray    Peter Easterby Chris Grant  7/4 4
1986  Forgive'n Forget   9-11-10 T Kilroe & Sons Ltd  Jimmy FitzGerald Mark Dwyer  5/2  6
1985  Wayward Lad   10-11-06  Mrs S N Thewlis   Monica Dickinson Graham Bradley  EvensF  4
1984  Burrough Hill Lad   8-11-09 Stan Riley   Jenny Pitman Phil Tuck 10/11JF  4
1983  Wayward Lad   8-11-10 Mrs S N Thewlis   Michael Dickinson  Robert Earnshaw  1/3F  3
1982  Righthand Man   5-11-07 Mrs M Haggas   Michael Dickinson  Graham Bradley 11/10F  10
1981  Gay Return   6-11-10 Mrs R Quinn   Edward O'Grady IRE Tommy Ryan  12/1  11
1980  Manton Castle   6-11-09 Mrs M Pett   Maurice Camacho Gordon Holmes  16/1  9
1979  Sparkie's Choice   6-11-09 Mrs P Brewitt   Neville Crump Colin Hawkins  9/2  8
1978  Fighting Fit   6-11-09 Mrs L Carr   Ken Oliver Ridley Lamb  6/5F  5
1977  Goolagong   7-11-09 H Orde-Powlett   Neville Crump Mr Harry Orde-Powlett 8/1  8
1976  DH Current Gold   5-11-07 A Picken    Gordon Richards David Goulding  4/1  9
  Set Point    8-11-09 Lavinia, Duchess Of Norfolk   Lady Herries Tommy Stack  20/1
1975  Davy Lad  5-11-07 Mrs J McGowan   Mick O'Toole IRE Dessie Hughes  2/5F  5
1974  Tamalin     7-11-09 T Metcalfe   Gordon Richards Jonjo O'Neill  9/4  7
1973  Dunrobin  6-11-05 Wing-Commander R Stevenson  Bill Crawford S P Taylor  4/5F  6
1972  Coxswain   7-11-10 Major E Cliff-McCulloch   Arthur Stephenson  Mr Graham Macmillan 4/5F  8
1971  Abandoned - snow and frost
1970  Kildrummy    5-11-07 Mrs M Milne Green  Bill Crawford Ron Barry  100/30  8
1969  Arcturus     8-11-10 Lady Hay    Neville Crump  Pat Buckley 11/4  3