Time For Rupert: done plenty of work in preparation for weekend returnPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Webber undecided over weekend run for Rupert
PAUL WEBBER warned punters on Monday to hang fire on backing Time For Rupert to go one better in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby this Saturday.
That's because last year's runner-up has also been entered for the other £100,000 chase that afternoon, the United House Gold Cup at Ascot.
Time For Rupert was installed 6-1 joint third favourite by the Charlie Hall sponsor, behind Silviniaco Conti (3-1) and Weird Al (5-1), who beat Time For Rupert by three and a half lengths 12 months ago.
Webber said: "Time For Rupert has been entered in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase and also at Ascot, so I think we will need to take a little bit of time to look at the entries and see what's what.
"I think Wetherby would be the preference, having run well around there before but it will be a day or two before we really know. We certainly intend to run him this weekend and he seems in very good form.
"He has done very well over the summer - he is a little bit stronger and heavier - and he has done plenty of work so we are looking forward to the weekend.
"Last year was very much about getting his confidence back, having bled in the RSA Chase the year before, and I think we did that.
"There aren't many bigger races than the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase as it's a Grade 2 worth £100,000. The Hennessy is not worth much more and obviously we will consider that, but lets see what happens on Saturday."
Silviniaco Conti: favouritePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Bet365 spokesman Pat Cooney said: "It's good to see so many familiar names in our big race this Saturday but we feel it may be time for a new name to be the main attraction for punters as we've made Paul Nicholls's exciting six-year-old Silviniaco Conti our 3-1 favourite.
"He was an impressive winner of the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April and what he may lack in experience he more than makes up for in potential improvement this season.
"Last year's winner Weird Al is our second choice at 5-1, but this looks a really competitive renewal, and we're happy to offer our customers the enhanced each-way terms of a quarter the odds - 1, 2, 3 - on our race."
First Lieutenant is the other horse priced at 6-1, but like Time For Rupert he has an alternative, in his case the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Coral pitched in Silviniaco Conti at only 9-4, their spokesman David Stevens reasoning: "For many punters the Charlie Hall Chase marks the start of the National Hunt season proper, and this year's renewal looks like living up to that billing. Silviniaco Conti looked a potential chase star of the future when ending his novice campaign with a 13-length success at the Grand National meeting, and following the retirement of Denman and Master Minded he could be his stable's new flagbearer."