Charingworth just the ticket in Hospitality Chase at Cheltenham
Charingworth has a good record at Cheltenham and looks to have leading claims of further enhancing it with success in the Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase there today (2.10).
The Kim Bailey trained 11-year-old has won once and finished runner-up twice in four starts at the venue and looked better than even this season.
The gelding put in a cracking effort on seasonal reappearance when chasing home The Young Master in a 13-runner amateur riders’ handicap over 3m 1f here, and the form has a strong look to it.
Charingworth, who was meeting the winner on level terms, stuck to the task well to down by 4 1/2 lengths to Neil Mulholland’s rapidly improving chaser who went to bolt up in the Badger Ales Trophy off a mark of 130 before being disqualified and is now rated 144.
The selection then went one better last time out, again over 3m 1f in an amateur riders’ contest at this track, when staying on strongly to beat Benbens by 3 1/2 lengths off 128 in the hands of Harry Bannister.
Although now 6lb higher in the weights, Charingworth once again has the services of Bannister in the saddle who is now able to claim his full 5lb allowance.
Taking that into account Charinworth is just 1lb higher than when last successful, and that makes his current mark of 134 look exploitable – especially on his run behind The Young Master.
The weights are headed by the classy Hadrian’s Approach, who has not been seen since landing the valuable bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown back in April.
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding has been put up 7lb for that effort to a career-high mark of 153, and I think he will struggle to give a race-fit and in-form Charingworth 19lb.
A bigger danger could well be the unexposed and rapidly improving The Ould Lad who has won his last two races in the manner of a chaser to keep on the right side.
The Tom George trained six-year-old jumped well and cruised to an easy eight length success 12 days ago at Leicester and it’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a 5lb penalty.
The Ould Lad is due to go up 8lb for that runaway success, so is 3lb “well-in” at the weights and also remains open to bags more improvement after just three starts over the larger obstacles.