On his return, Bravemansgame put on an electrifying performance that gave Paul Nicholls a fifth victory in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase.

Bravemansgame, who was dismissed at 2-1 after the market drifted in the morning, jumped expertly, but Derek Fox’s Ahoy Senor, the well-backed 11-10 favourite, performed poorly.

The race was advertised as a contest between second-season chasers, but it ended up being a one-way street as the seven-year-old, trained by Paul Nicholls, returned to winning ways following a very unusual off day at Aintree in April.

Paint The Dream constantly jostled Ahoy Senor for the lead, and he never developed a rhythm at his fences.

Contrastingly, Bravemansgame had flawless footwork and easily passed Eldorado Allen to score with ease after cruising into contention at the top of the home straight under Harry Cobden.

The performance impressed Paddy Power, who made Bravemansgame the 9-4 favourite (up from 4) for the King George, a race that has been on his radar for some time.

When asked to compare Bravemansgame with his previous winners, Nicholls, who has won Wetherby’s premier race with See More Business (1999 and 2000), Silviniaco Conti (2012), and Cyrname (2020), told ITV Racing “He’s as good as any of them. Cheltenham over three and a quarter miles might not be his bag [the Gold Cup], but the King George is absolutely made for him. He won a Grade 1 there last season and he’s a very smart horse when he’s right.

“Harry gave him a fantastic ride and gave him lots of light and he’s one of the best ones we’ve had on the right track. Our aim is the King George and that’s where we’ll go next and after that we’ll see where we go.”

Connections take a photo with the winner of the Charlie Hall Chase, Bravemansgame.

Cobden added: “He jumped impeccably and he’ll come on a hell of a lot. The last two seasons we’ve had him ready for the first week of October and he’s probably gone to Newton Abbot and Chepstow and not quite lasted the season. But this year Paul has trained him differently and hopefully we’ve got a horse that will last for March and April and those big festivals.

“He’s absolutely cantered around to be fair and the boss has left plenty under the bonnet for another day. He’s going to improve a lot and I’m looking forward to the King George.”

Ahoy Senor was the last of the five runners to cross the finish line, and trainer Lucinda Russell will wait for the dust to settle before setting goals for the future.

“Derek said he ran a bit free and it took his energy away,” she said. “I’m just delighted he’s back safe, that’s the important thing. We’ll see how he is over the next few days. It’s his first run of the season. I think we’ll stick with the plans that we had and probably go to Aintree for the Many Clouds Chase.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *