Hey Big Spender the stats pick for victory in the Charlie Hall Chase
Despite the high calibre field entered in the Charlie Hall Chase, it is one of the lesser known of the anticipated 14 runners that the statistics are suggesting is the horse to beat.
The quality of the line-up is shown by the fact that the likes of Diamond Harry and Time For Rupert are expected to run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Chicago Grey is among the early Grand National betting favourites and Poquelin should go close in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
However, it is Hey Big Spender that agrees with the majority of key trends that have been most common among previous Charlie Hall Chase winners and he could therefore be an attractive each-way price at 25/1.
Hey Big Spender tends to run well fresh on his seasonal reappearance and any rain at Wetherby in the coming days will boost his chances.
The big question mark is whether trainer Colin Tizzard runs him in the Charlie Hall Chase or the potentially less competitive United House Gold Cup at Ascot on the same day this Saturday.
If he does run at Wetherby, then he could be the horse that fits the larger number of the biggest statistics of recent winners.
Among these is that all of the last ten winners had previously run at least eight times over fences, which immediately rules out Time For Rupert and Diamond Harry, who have not tackled the bigger obstacles eight times between them to date.
Meanwhile, Weird Al is also still quite inexperienced over fences.
Half of the last ten winners have been eight-year-olds, which goes against Nacarat defending his Charlie Hall Chase title and also Midnight Chase.
Nine winners in the last ten years had a previous victory over a distance of 3m or further on their resume, which is something Poquelin does not have.
This, Hey Big Spender could run into a place, especially with a host of front runners in the field that he could gradually pick off in the closing stages.