Clondaw Castle ready to kick off campaign in Charlie Hall
Tom George reports Clondaw Castle to be ready to return to action in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.
The Slad trainer has had this Grade Two contest over an extended three miles in mind for a while as the gelding’s seasonal debut.
George feels ground conditions will be in Clondaw Castle’s favour as the nine-year-old sticks to three miles following two big runs over that trip in the latter part of the last term.
He won the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Kempton in February and was then second to Clan Des Obeaux in the Grade One Betway Bowl at Aintree.
“He’s in great form. I’m very happy with him. This has been the plan for a while,” said George.
“Hopefully the rain stays away and they don’t throw too much water on the place. He likes good ground so it looks like everything could be in his favour.
“If the old Cyrname turns up, we’re a lost cause but if he doesn’t we’re there to pounce. I think we’re still heading in the right direction and there’s a lot more to come.”
Cyrname lifted this prize 12 months ago but was pulled up on his only other two starts last term.
The Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old has something to prove but he is reported to be in good shape.
“The plan is to go to Wetherby. It has been from the start of the season. He’s training well. His record fresh is very good so we’re hopeful of a big run,” Nicholls’ assistant Harry Derham told Sky Sports Racing
“He’s got a bit to prove after last season. He’s a talked-about horse. He looks in good nick. We think he’ll run well but he has to go and do it on the track.
“Last year he loved Wetherby. It’s a flat, galloping track and a fair one, so hopefully there are no worries on that score at all.”
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