Definitly Red in the mix at Wetherby

Definitly Red, pictured right.
Definitly Red, pictured right.
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Definitly Red may cause a bit of an upset in what should be a blinding renewal of the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.

Pre-race chatter has correctly revolved around Cue Card and Coneygree, and it would be wonderful if both horses could run to their best in Yorkshire.

But with Cue Card not getting any younger and Coneygree a hard horse to pin down after such a troublesome few years, Definitly Red is an appealing alternative at good odds.

Trainer Brian Ellison is always optimistic but it is interesting the Malton handler has already mentioned the Gold Cup as a long-term goal for the eight-year-old.

He admittedly has to go some, and more, to even enter calculations for the big one at Cheltenham, but Definitly Red, who has had just 10 starts over fences, is definitely good enough to win a Charlie Hall.

The 159-rated chaser’s Grand National dreams went up in smoke in April after his saddle slipped on the first circuit, but, before that, he looked a horse at the top of his game.

A 17-length demolition job in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster was pretty special in the grand scheme of things, but he is not just about stamina.

No better was that illustrated than in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase over this course and distance on Boxing Day when he produced a fleet-footed display to score by seven lengths.

Just as importantly, though, is the fact he goes well as a fresh horse, having won twice on his seasonal return under rules.

And with the ground seemingly just about ideal for him, it will be fascinating to see how Definitly Red gets on against the big two in a race which is never often quite as straightforward as the bookmakers would have us believe.

Elsewhere, it is difficult to escape the charms of Lil Rockerfeller in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle.