Hopefully the weather eases up a bit and Wetherby gets the go-ahead on Saturday, for this seven-race card is a belter.
The feature is the G2 Charlie Hall Chase, which sees Gold Cup runner-up Bravemansgame make his seasonal reappearance, but there’s an excellent supporting cast too.
We’ve got a red-hot Listed mares’ hurdle that takes place immediately before the G2 West Yorkshire Hurdle – and I’ve got a selection for both races.
13:50 – You Wear It Well @ 11/4
That “red-hot Listed mares’ hurdle” is a two-mile affair that sees Mares’ Novices’ winner You Wear It Well renew rivalries with Luccia – and there’s added spice in the form of Kateira, who was runner-up in the G1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at the Aintree Grand National Festival.
I wouldn’t be surprised were any of those three to win this, but my vote goes to Jamie Snowden’s Cheltenham Festival hero.
Luccia is one of my favourite horses in training and it pains me to oppose her, but there’s reason to. I suspect she’s a better animal on nicer ground and it’s concerning that Nico De Boinville has seemingly swerved the opportunity to ride her, instead going to Ascot for just one ride.
Kateira is dangerous, but how she’ll cope with the going is a question that needs answering, especially for a yard whose runners have generally needed their first outing.
Conditions will be no hinderance to the selection, who’s almost guaranteed to pop out in front and make this a test for her six rivals. Hopefully she’s fit enough to stay there.
Her only misstep to date was a poor showing in that Aintree race won by Kateira, but I think that’s easily forgiven as it was her sixth run of the campaign, on quicker ground than she’d have liked.
All things considered, I think she’s too big a price here and is well worth a couple of quid.
14:25 – Dashel Drasher @ 9/4
Another runner on the card who should relish conditions is Jeremy Scott’s admirable Dashel Drasher. His record, since November 2020, on ground officially described as soft or worse is 311112P1222.
The 10-year-old is an admirable sort who barely runs a bad race. He placed in three Grade 2s – over both hurdles and fences – last term before narrowly missing out in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
A replication of that form makes him the one to beat in this. Thyme Hill is ground versatile himself and a credible rival, but he seems to be regressing despite being a year younger than the selection.
Botox Has has a lot to do, especially giving four pounds to the aforementioned market leaders, while the other three runners would be surprise victors in anyone’s book, I’d imagine.
Like You Wear It Well, there’s every chance Dashel Drasher will make the running – and hopefully he won’t see another rival.