All eight horses remain declared for the Victor Chandler Chase and it is somewhat of a surprise that none of the entrants have a Grade One victory under their belt outside of novice contests.
Finian’s Rainbow and Al Ferof are excused as this will be their first race in open Grade One company, but the depth is slightly lacking from the other six entrants as they have run 22 times in this class between them without success.
The form of the Paul Nicholls yard since the turn of the year has been sketchy at best, with only a handful of winners secured in this time.
This puts doubts as to how well Al Ferof will perform, while the fact he only just repelled the challenge of For Non Stop off level weights on his latest start was not overly inspiring form.
There are also some concerns over the jumping of Finian’s Rainbow, who is prone to the odd serious blunder.
However, he still finds a way to keep winning and this was the case in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton, when he was lucky to stand up when making an almighty error five fences from home.
Whether he gets away with a mistake of this calibre in the Victor Chandler Chase remains to be seen, but if he jumps assuredly, he looks the class horse and is 13/8 to triumph.
Of the remainder, Gauvain looks to represent the best each-way value at 9/1.
In his 12 chases containing a maximum of eight runners, Gauvain has only finished out of the first two on three occasions and in all of these he either fell over or was pulled up.
His convincing success over fellow Victor Chandler competitor Somersby at Huntingdon in December is a further boost to his each-way credentials.