Paul Nicholls has won this for the past two years and Tidal Bay, runner-up a year ago, was having his first start for the stable when a fine third over hurdles here on New Year's Day. That will have put him right and Ruby Walsh has ridden him once before. Midnight Chase was in tremendous form on this track last season and ran very well for a long way in the Gold Cup. He's struggled in his two runs this season but is no forlorn hope back on his favourite track. Diamond Harry enjoyed plenty of success around here over timber and though well beaten in the 2010 RSA Chase he is much better than that. He didn't weaken until the last in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November on his first start for a year and must be a threat. Time For Rupert was 7l behind him in the Betfair but produced an improved display to beat The Giant Bolster at Newbury though he'll need to make further progress to see off CAPTAIN CHRIS. Last year's Arkle winner had an interrupted preparation before the King George on Boxing Day where he ran with great credit behind Kauto Star and, as he's likely to build on that, he can regain the winning thread.
Diamond Harry 7-2 (11-7) Tracked leaders, pressed winner 5th to 8th, remained in touch, challenged 5 out, outpaced and lost 2nd next, ridden 2 out, weakened into 4th before last, 4th of 6, 18l behind Kauto Star (11-7) at Haydock 3m Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Nov.
Little Josh (IRE) 13-2 (11-10) Led, headed 13th, chased leader until before next, stayed in 3rd until mistake and weakened 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 10, 38l behind Wishfull Thinking (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan '11.
Midnight Chase 16-1 (11-12) Mid-division, ridden 4 out, driven and one pace from next, 3rd of 13, 16l behind According To Pete (9-11) at Wetherby 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Time For Rupert (IRE) 8-15fav (11-8) Made all, nudged out flat, readily, won at Newbury 3m chs (2) sft in Dec beating The Giant Bolster (11-8) by 1 3/4l, 4 ran.
Captain Chris (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Held up behind, in touch, raced wide bend after 9th, chased leaders under pressure 4 out, went 3rd before next, ridden 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression on leading pair, 3rd of 7, 19l behind Kauto Star (11-10) at Kempton 3m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Any Currency (IRE) 8-1 (10-0) Chased leading pair until 10th, stayed in 4th place, lost place after 14th, last pair 4 out, poor 6th when blundered 2 out, stayed on again to modest 4th soon after last, 4th of 10, 22l behind Hold On Julio (10-0) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) gs.
Knockara Beau (IRE) 5-1 (10-8) Chased leaders, driven and weakened 3 out, 6th of 13, 33l behind According To Pete (9-11) at Wetherby 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
The Sawyer (BEL) 7-1 (10-3) Led, mistake 6th, headed before 11th, chased leaders, lost place 5 out, soon behind, plugged on to moderate 4th towards finish, 4th of 11, 28l behind According To Pete (11-2) at Haydock 3m hcp chs G2 (1) hvy.
Tidal Bay (IRE) 9-2 (11-9) Held up behind leaders, not fluent 7th, cajoled along from 9th, went 3rd after 2 out, stayed on, no impression on front pair, 3rd of 8, 5l behind Houblon Des Obeaux (10-1) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gs.