The Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby has not always been considered a key Cheltenham Gold Cup Trial but that is certainly not the case this season after the excellent Weird Al won well at the weekend. The horse moved to the Donald McCain Jnr yard over the summer and he won well to beat the favourite Time For Rupert in a competitive looking renewal. Weird Al travelled the best through the race while his jumping looked sound as he made a winning return after being pulled up last time out in the Gold Cup itself. The bookmakers were quick to react to the result of the race and they duly slashed Weird Al for this season's Gold Cup at Cheltenham and he could prove to be an interesting candidate come March.
It was a disappointment to see the exciting Diamond Harry miss the Charlie Hall Chase after he was found to be lame but nevertheless it looked a strong renewal of the race. Time for Rupert is another highly regarded chaser over the gold Cup distance and although he came up short against the winner he did himself no harm as he plugged on well after the final fence. It was only Time For Rupert's fourth start over fences so he could still be on an upward curve and should not be ignored in the Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting. It was a good start to the season as punters look to find potential horses to take on Long Run and in Weird Al and Time For Rupert we could have found two exciting chasers for the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.