Definitly Red Heads Field of Five for Charlie Hall Chase

At the start of the week, the Charlie Hall Chase looked like being a fantastic renewal, with Thistlecrack, Clan Des Obeaux and a whole host of Irish challengers heading to the race. However, after the ground remained good due to a lack of rain in West Yorkshire, just five have been declared for the race.

Definitly Red heads the field, and he will be looking to go better than his finish in the race last year. He has certainly improved since then, and didn’t appreciate the soft ground last season, something he certainly won’t get here. This has always been the intended starting plan, and he looks as though he has a great chance of picking up an early season win. This isn’t so much because he is a class act, but that the race looks to be a substandard renewal this season, and he is the one who can take advantage of that.

Black Corton is another making his seasonal reappearance, and he has the services of Bryony Frost, a jockey he gets on so well with. He won a Grade One and Grade Two as a novice last season, but steps up into open company for the first time here, which will be a test for him but there is no doubt he has the ability to go close in a race like this.

Double Shuffle has pieces of form that are certainly the best on offer in this field, but whether he will be able to show his very best on seasonal reappearance remains to be seen. His one length second to Might Bite in the King George is the pick of his form, but he hasn’t recorded a win for nearly two years, which is certainly a negative.

Virgilio is the only one to have had a run over the summer, and comes here on the back of two wins. He probably doesn’t quite have the quality to win a race like this, but he will love the good ground, is in good form and may have a slight fitness edge over some of his rivals who haven’t been seen since the spring.

Regal Encore is the horse to round off the field, and he is another who looks unlikely to have the quality needed to win this. He is a good handicapper, but doesn’t appear ready for graded company like this just yet. He also looks to be a very strong stayer, and three miles on this ground may not be far enough for him.

The Charlie Hall had plenty of promise at the start of the week, but on Friday the hopes of a vintage renewal were shattered. Just five go to post, which is disappointing and the race looks to be a slightly substandard affair for the grade and history it has. Definitly Red looks to be the one to be on, and he can take this before going on to have another solid season in the staying division