FOUR DECLARED ON CHARLIE HALL DAY.
Wetherby stage their seasons centrepiece on Saturday, with the annual running of the Charlie Hall Chase, and although we haven't got a runner in this years renewal, we still run four over the meetings seven races, where the gong at the time of writing is good.
The ex French Geryville makes his stable, and British debut at 1.20.pm, in a 0-120 handicap chase over two miles and three furlongs with Alain Cawley in the saddle. Geryville was a winner on the flat on debut as a three year old on good ground back in 2019, and since then he has mixed hurdling and chasing at what looks a fairly high level, always on a softer surface. He is the winner of one of his seven hurdle starts to date, and has been placed in two of his 13 chase starts. His opening BHA mark of 103 looks generous, but weighing up the French form is never easy.
Penpal is also ex French, and has spent a season with us already. When he arrived he came with a BHA rating of 125, which after five runs has seen him drop to 103. He generally struggled last season, but did show ability when finishing fifth at Catterick under a penalty in a novice hurdle last December. The handicapper has given him a real chance to be competitive this time around, and he will make his seasonal debut at 3.40.pm, in a 0-130 handicap hurdle over an extended two miles and three furlongs, with his regular jockey Alain Cawley retaining the ride.
The four year old filly Howzat Hiris has her second start over hurdles at 4.15.pm, in a novice hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs with our conditional jockey Jack Hogan taking off 7lb. Howzat Hiris showed that there is ability there when finishing midfield in three bumper races last season, especially on the latter start at Sedgefield when finishing a 10 lengths fifth. She also ran once over hurdles also at Sedgefield in April, where she broke blood vessels, so that run should be ignored. This will be a good starting point, and there will be many more easier opportunities as the season progresses.
Our eighth and final runner of the two days Charlie Hall meeting is last seasons course winner Grange Ranger, who goes to post at 4.50.pm, in a 0-120 handicap chase over three miles, with Emma Smith-Chaston who has already finished second on him twice, back in the saddle. Grange Ranger made his seasonal debut last year in this corresponding race when finishing runner up, he got off the mark at this course in February and held his form in two subsequent starts. He starts this season from a 5lb higher mark than his last win, but with only 11 races under rules under his belt, there could well be more improvement to come.
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Good luck to the connections, R M Howard, The Golden Cuckoo, Sticky Wicket Racing, and Oakwood Rainbow.