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Take on Long Run with Harry Topper in Charlie Hall Chase

All eyes will be on Nicky Henderson’s top-class chaser and former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run when the gelding makes his seasonal debut in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

The eight-year-old has never finished outside the first three during a stellar career and is evens favourite under regular jockey Sam Waley-Cohen in this 3m 1f test over fences.

Long Run held off Captain Chris to win the King George IV chase at Kempton in December, but that was on heavy ground and Waley-Cohen’s mount has been beaten on his last two runs, which were both on soft ground.

He hasn’t won on seasonal reappearance for four years and with the skies above Yorkshire set to remain cloudless over the weekend, Henderson’s horse looks vulnerable to an improver here.

At such scanty odds Long Run takes a lot out of the market in this seven-runner renewal and Coral rate the Paul Nicholls-trained Unioniste as next-best at 3/1.

Nicholls’ five-year-old – who is the mount of Sam Twiston-Davis for the first time – has won three of his five races, but was a disappointing beaten favourite at the Cheltenham Festival with Ruby Walsh on board.

Both of his losses have come on good to soft ground, which is currently the official going at Wetherby and Unioniste looks overpriced at odds useless to each-way punters.

Cape Tribulation and Benefficient are both priced up at 7/1 and the latter has A P McCoy on board with the legendary horseman just nine steers away from a phenomenal 4000 career wins.

Benefficient looked a top-class chaser in the making when beating hot favourite Dynaste in the Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March, winning by over three lengths and landing handsome 20/1 odds.

However, the most intriguing horse in this race has to be Harry Topper and the Kim Bailey-trained six-time winner is the each-way pick to rediscover top form here at a tasty 8/1.

The six-year-old beat Benefficient by a length and a half 12 months ago at Newbury during a run of three successive wins on heavy, soft and good to soft ground.

Harry Topper’s last two runs have left punters feeling flat as he failed to finish at Kelso in March and at Punchestown six weeks later, but he was very unlucky to be brought down in Ireland.

Unseating Timmy Murphy when going for a four-timer at Kelso was clearly not part of Bailey’s plan, but with Coral’s mobile offer you needn’t worry if a similar fate befalls Jason Maguire here.

If you back a horse via tablet or smartphone and it falls, unseats or is brought down during any UK jumps race, Coral will refund the win part of win and each-way singles as a free bet up to £25/€25, so have a punt on Harry Topper and don’t worry about those big fences.