Four of the six runners in this have won previously at Grade 1 level. Finian's Rainbow is one and there was clearly something amiss when he finished tailed off behind Captain Chris here in November. Connections are hoping a wind operation has cured the problem and he'll be a threat to all if rediscovering the form that saw him win last year's Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Melling Chase at Aintree. However, he was beaten fair and square by Somersby in last year's Victor Chandler and the latter ran well for a long way on his belated reappearance at Cheltenham behind Sprinter Sacre. Captain Chris was within inches of winning the King George on Boxing Day and has the beating of Ghizao on earlier form. CUE CARD was only fifth at Kempton but clearly didn't stay the trip and was eased. Back over 2m4f, we'll give another chance to Colin Tizzard's classy seven-year-old who is almost guaranteed to run his race and boasts top-class form in general.
Captain Chris (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Held up in touch on inside, dropped to rear 9th, headway under pressure before 3 out, went 2nd next, soon ridden, led last, kept on, headed final strides, 2nd of 9, nk behind Long Run (11-10) at Kempton 3m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Cue Card 5-1 (11-10) Blundered 1st, tracked leaders, 4th and outpaced before 3 out, weakened from next, 5th of 9, 20l behind Long Run (11-10) at Kempton 3m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Finian's Rainbow (IRE) 5-6fav (11-11) Raced centre, held up in 3rd, mistake 9th, ridden and effort approaching bypassed 2 out, soon outpaced when switched right, 4th and tired when mistake last, eased flat, last of 4, 24l behind Captain Chris (11-1) at Ascot 2m 3f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Nov.
Ghizao (GER) 10-3 (11-6) Led until 12th, ridden approaching 3 out, no impression on winner 2 out, lost 2nd before last, one pace, 3rd of 5, 8l behind Menorah (11-5) at Kempton 2m 4f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Pigeon Island 20-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, no extra from 2 out, 5th of 6, 11l behind Wishfull Thinking (11-6) at Newbury 2m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) sft.
Somersby (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) In touch main group, close up 5th, went 2nd 9th, ridden and no chance with winner before 2 out, lost 2nd final 75 yards, 3rd of 7, 17l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) hvy in Jan.