04 November 2023

Gentlemansgame swoops late for Charlie Hall triumph

04 November 2023

Gentlemansgame came of age by beating Gold Cup runner-up Bravemansgame in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Having just his third run over fences, the Mouse Morris-trained seven-year-old was nibbled at in the market into 7-2 and he became the first Irish-based winner since Francis Crowley’s Sackville in 2001.

Gentlemansgame won a beginners chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival but was not seen again until being beaten into second by Easy Game at Gowran in September.

Always highly thought of by Morris, who finished second in the corresponding race in 1998 with Boss Doyle behind Strath Royal, he was the trainer’s first winner in the UK since he landed the Grand National with Rule The World in 2016.

Ahoy Senor set out to make all but by halfway his jumping had once again slowed him down and last year’s winner Bravemansgame took it up.

It stayed that way until Darragh O’Keeffe brought the grey up to challenge, but at the second last the favourite had seemingly seen him off.

However, Bravemansgame jumped out of Harry Cobden’s hands at the final fence, landing on top of it and halting his momentum, allowing the Irish raider to gain the upper hand and win by a length and three-quarters.

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.”

On his Wetherby win, Morris added: “It’s a nice race and a super track with lovely people, so why not come over?”

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