Rebel Rebellion made a perfectly satisfactory chasing debut at Exeter under Ruby Walsh last month and looks a useful recruit to the novice chasing ranks. As yet, the form of that race has not worked out too well and CAPTAIN CONAN is preferred, making his fencing debut for the Henderson team. A Grade 1 winner last term when landing the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, the French-bred gelding ended his novice hurdle campaign with an excellent second to stable companion, Darlan, at Grade 2 level at Aintree. He rates a potentially exciting addition to the novice chasing division. His Excellency and Third Intention finished first and second here last time and there should be little between them once again, while it would be dangerous to ignore the claims of Sire De Grugy, a stylish winner on his Kempton chasing debut last month.
Rebel Rebellion (IRE) 7-2 (11-2) Led after 1st, made most after, headed narrowly 3 out, ridden and every chance when edged left flat, rallied to regain lead towards finish, won at Exeter 2m 1f Beginners Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) gs in Oct beating Bold Henry (11-2) by 2 1/4l, 11 ran.
Captain Conan (FR) 9-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, pressed next, headed last, ridden run-in, kept on and no impression on winner final 125 yards, 2nd of 12, 4l behind Darlan (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Apr.
Inoogoo (IRE) 11-1 (11-3) Pressed leader, led 4th to after next, led again 6th, headed last (usual 4 out), stayed on and every chance approaching omitted 2 out no extra when lost 2nd inside final furlong, 3rd of 6, 5l behind Unioniste (11-1) at Aintree 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd in Oct.
Nearest The Pin (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, ridden in 4th entering straight, left 3rd 3 out, went 2nd from 2 out, kept on without reaching winner, 2nd of 18, 2 1/2l behind Protaras (11-11) at Gowran Park 2m 2f beg chs gd in Oct.
Sire De Grugy (FR) 5-6fav (11-2) Held up in rear, not fluent 1st, headway 2nd, went 2nd 6th, led 3 out, clear when blundered 2 out, eased towards finish, won at Kempton 2m beg chs (4) gd in Oct beating Grams And Ounces (10-9) by 6l, 11 ran.
Third Intention (IRE) 13-8fav (11-2) Held up, took keen hold, headway 2nd, hit 6th, went 2nd after 3 out, led next, ridden flat, headed towards finish, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind His Excellency (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs (2) gs in Oct.
His Excellency (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Mid-division, headway after 4 out, went 2nd approaching last, swished tail and stayed on well flat, led towards finish, won at Cheltenham 2m nov chs (2) gs in Oct beating Third Intention (11-2) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.