Tom George is hoping Double Shuffle can run up to his best Kempton form when he goes for Grade Two honours in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.
The eight-year-old put up a first-class display to push Might Bite to a length in the King George VI Chase at Kempton last Christmas and a reproduction of that form should see him go close.
There is all to pay for in the three-mile feature after horses such as Thistlecrack and Bristol de Mai were not declared due to the ground not being on the soft side. However, conditions should suit George’s runner.
“He’s in good form. He’ll get his ground, he hasn’t had it for a bit. It’s a starting point,” said the Slad trainer.
“He had a nice summer and has been in since July. He’s in good form and we’re looking for a nice run.
“He obviously seems to be better round Kempton than anywhere else, but I think Wetherby should suit him, it’s a flat track which he likes, and he likes the better ground, so let’s hope he can show his Kempton form.”
Paul Nicholls is also not concerned about the ground for Black Corton, who is having his first race since April after being successful a total of nine times from June through to February.
“Black Corton doesn’t mind if the ground is quick,” Nicholls told At The Races.
“Frodon did well on Sunday (winning the Old Roan Chase) and Black Corton is very much in the same mould as him.
“He’s not an obvious Gold Cup winner, but he’ll run well to his level and if the ground is quick the Charlie Hall might well suit him.”
Brian Ellison’s Definitly Red will attempt to improve two places on his third spot in this race 12 months ago, while Dan Skelton’s Virgilio, a dual winner in the summer, completes the quartet.
Anthony Honeyball had hoped to let Regal Encore take his chance with the race cutting up but had been concerned about the conditions being too quick and was forced to declare him a non runner late on Friday afternoon.