Wetherby joy as War declared

first_img … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Share on WhatsApp Horse racing Read more First published on Mon 27 Oct 2008 20.01 EDT Topics Support The Guardian Officials at Wetherby racecourse, which appeared to have run out of friends earlier this month, can celebrate a double coup ahead of Saturday’s Charlie Hall Chase. Yesterday, as bookmakers Bet365 confirmed they had extended their sponsorship of the course’s flagship race for another three years, War Of Attrition was the star name among the five-day declarations for this year’s renewal.The outlook appeared very different three weeks ago, when the track had to pass an inspection before staging racing over fences for the first time since March. Prominent trainers expressed concern that the racing surface had not recovered from the reconfiguration that followed last year’s widening of the adjacent A1. Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Wetherby joy as War declared Reuse this content The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage @claimsfivecenter_img Horse racing Mon 27 Oct 2008 20.01 EDT That concern has not been entirely allayed by a single successful raceday and the big-name trainers whose charges were among yesterday’s entries will be in need of some reassurance over the next few days. Clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson describes the going as good to firm, firm in places, despite 10mm of rainfall recently.”We will continue to water the new areas of the course leading up to the meeting if necessary,” said Sanderson. “I anticipate the ground being similar to that which we had on our opening fixture [officially firm], which was widely reported to ride better than it perhaps walked.”Sanderson added that he was “hopeful that at some stage this week I’ll be able to drop the firm out of it”. That would appear to be necessary if War Of Attrition is to line up on Saturday, according to his trainer, Mouse Morris.”It just depends on the state of the ground, that’s all,” Morris explained. “He wants good ground anyway, so as long is it is safe, good ground, he’ll travel over.” War Of Attrition was on top of the chasing world when an emphatic winner of the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup but a tendon injury prevented him from defending his crown and kept him on the sidelines for 22 months. Few chasers retain their ability after such an absence but the nine-year-old raised hopes that he may prove an exception when hacking up on his return at Punchestown recently. Morris says he remains in “great nick” and he may need to be – his rivals on Saturday could include Albertas Run, successful in last season’s Royal & SunAlliance Chase, and Ollie Magern, winner of the Charlie Hall twice in the last three years. Nevertheless, the race sponsors make War Of Attrition the 3-1 favourite.Last year’s Gold Cup winner, Kauto Star, is 4-9 with William Hill to score on his seasonal reappearance at Down Royal on the same day, in the jnwine.com Champion Chase. His main rival is likely to be The Listener, who already has three top-class victories in Ireland to his name and will be having his first start for fledgeling trainer Nick Mitchell.Ron Cox’s tip of the daySurprise Pension 2.00 CatterickThe ability to handle testing ground in the dying embers of the Flat season is vital and Surprise Pension passes with flying colours. John Quinn’s four-year-old proved his ability in the mud when taking a similar handicap to today’s over the same 1m3f trip at Hamilton last month. Unsuited by the step back in trip on faster ground last time, he can score today with conditions to suit. Share on Facebook Shares00 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Messenger Chris Cook Share via Email Share on LinkedIn War of Attrition at the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Imageslast_img read more