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Wetherby

  • 15:20 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase 3m 1f

  • (Grade 2) £100,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £56,950 2nd £21,370 3rd £10,700 4th £5,330
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 0.40s
  • Off time: 15:20:19

Weird Al calls Wetherby tune

Chaser returns to best on debut for new connections

Last Updated: 29/10/11 4:06pm

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Weird Al: Won the Charlie Hall

Weird Al: Won the Charlie Hall

Weird Al lifted the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on his first start for Donald McCain.

Formerly with Ian Williams, the eight year old had not been out since pulling up in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in a frustrating season which had been affected by illness.

Switched to McCain in the summer, the Accordion gelding proved that he was over his problems with a smooth victory over the favourite Time For Rupert, scoring by three and a half lengths.

Jockey Timmy Murphy gradually nursed his mount into the contest and produced him to challenge Time For Rupert at the second last.

The runner-up, who himself ran a fine race on his first start since he was found to have bled in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, tried hard to close the gap on the run to the line but his efforts were in vain.

The pair pulled a long way clear of the chasing pack which were led by Chicago Grey who finished just in front of last year's winner Nacarat in the three-mile-one-furlong event which lost a little of its lustre when ante-post favourite Diamond Harry was ruled out on the day of the race due to lameness.

Million Dollars

Weird Al was formerly in the care of Ian Williams, and McCain said: "I'm absolutely thrilled. It would be wrong for me to take all the credit.

"He looked a million dollars when he came to me from Ian's about six to eight weeks ago.

"The owners felt he needed a change. Ian's a good friend so it wasn't easy. Good horses are good horses and Ian's been a help.

"This race had been the target before he came to me. I can't certainly take all the credit that's for sure."

Murphy Tribute

Paying tribute to Murphy, McCain said: "On his day Timmy's as good as anybody. We just said he'd sit fourth or fifth and let the race happen.

"Timmy's given him an absolute peach and said he picked up really well and he idled in front a bit.

"The horse's problems have been well documented. He had a fracture before the SunAlliance (2010) and had his problems last year, he hasn't had a proper race since the start of last season.

"We'll get him back first before we think of the next step."

Murphy said: "He's a very nice horse and he's so lightly raced you don't know how far he can go. If you look after him he'll repay you. He barely came off the bridle today and idled after the last."

Time For Rupert's trainer Paul Webber said: "He'll tighten up a hell of a lot for that. The winner has given us 3lb and a beating so he's a fair horse. I'm not too disappointed, he'll improve for it."

Tom George said of last year's winner Nacarat, who had to settle for fourth this time: "The ground was too holding for him and he couldn't get away from them.

"The ground will dictate where he goes. He wants good ground and three miles at Kempton."

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