3 minute read
Gentlemansgame showed a determined attitude to get the better of King George winner Bravemansgame in a thrilling renewal of the Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
The Mouse Morris-trained seven-year-old jumped his way into contention down the straight and soon found himself latched onto the strong-travelling Bravemansgame. The pair were almost inseparable jumping the last, but it was the 7/2 Darragh O'Keeffe-ridden Irish raider, who had a seasonal reappearance outing under his belt, that found more after producing a better leap at the final flight, despite the fact Bravemansgame [10/11f] appeared to be travelling much the best under Harry Cobden.
The winning margin was one- and three-quarter lengths with a long way back to Midnight River, who completed for third. Ahoy Senor was the major disappointment in the contest, pulling up before two out following a number of jumping errors.
Paddy Power cut Gentlemansgame from 66/1 to 25/1 for Gold Cup glory at Cheltenham next March, whilst the same firm left Paul Nicholls' runner-up as the 13/8 favourite to claim a second King George success on Boxing Day.
Morris said: "I'm very happy with that, he jumped super. He was a bit fiddly at one or two, but that was to be expected on his third run over fences.
"He was taking on a seasoned, Gold Cup horse [Bravemansgame]. We came here because I was limited as to where I could go. The owners [Robcour] had their other horse going to Down Royal [Gerri Colombe] and it would be stupid to take each other on.
"It's a long way to the Gold Cup. I suppose Leopardstown at Christmas would be the obvious place to go, but we'll see how he comes out of it.
"He'll stay all day and we're living the dream."
Morris added: "It's a nice race and a super track with lovely people, so why not come over?"
Gentlemansgame became the first Irish-based winner since Francis Crowley's Sackville in 2001, whilst it was Morris' first win at Wetherby since Boss Doyle scored at this meeting 22 years ago.