Turf Talk: Bravemansgame can do the business again in Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby
More bad weather is due this week, but I hope it stays clear of Wetherby so that the two-day Charlie Hall meeting can go ahead.
This is the most prestigious meeting that the West Yorkshire track hosts, with top horses from all over the UK and Ireland on display.
Bravemansgame was an impressive winner of the race 12 months ago and it is hard to see what can beat him this year.
He went on to take the King George Chase on Boxing Day and was second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, form that none of his rivals can match.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls hasn’t had many winners numerically this season, but when he has targeted a particular race it usually wins. Hopefully Bravesmangame can be in the winner's enclosure for the second year running.
The finish of the bet365 Hurdle could be fought out by a couple of ‘oldies'. With a combined age of 19 years, Thyme Hill and Dashel Drasher have met many times over the years with varying results.
The 10-year-old Thyme Hill retains his form well and just gets the nod for Saturday's three-miler.
The Skelton brothers have had a lot of success at Wetherby and I expect their Kateira to run well in the Mares Hurdle. She won her first two Novice Hurdles with consummate ease and showed her true potential when finishing second in a hot hurdle at the Aintree meeting.
Expect her to be challenging for the top Mares races as the season progresses.
The Skeltons could get off to a flyer at Wetherby as I like the look of their Grey Dawning in the Novice Chase on Friday. This grey gelding won his first two races in ‘bumpers' at Wetherby, so loves the course and is an interesting recruit to the chasing ranks.
Garlick's Goodies: Friday Wetherby 1.15 Grey Dawning; Saturday Wetherby1.50 Kateira; 2.21 Thyme Hill; 3.00 Bravemansgame.