Captain Chris and Somersby the ones to beat at Ascot
Although Master Minded is largely expected to go off favourite in the Ascot odds for the Amlin 1965 Chase, the race could turn into a straight shootout between Captain Chris and Somersby for victory.
Master Minded triumphed in the race 12 months ago and is 2/1 to succeed again, but there have to be doubts that he can secure back-to-back victories against what look like stronger opposition.
He ran a bit of a stinker on his seasonal reappearance last month at Aintree and although trainer Paul Nicholls believes he should come on for the run, he may be best opposed.
There is certainly the argument that Master Minded wants further than the stiff 2m3f at Ascot these days and there is a case that his best path would be heading towards the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March over 3m.
Master Minded arguably does not have the speed of yester year and could struggle shipping weight to some talented opposition.
None appear to have more talent than Captain Chris, who big things are expected of this season following his Arkle success at Cheltenham in March.
He looked to have victory in the bag on his seasonal reappearance at Exeter before falling late on, with Medermit taking advantage to triumph.
The pair re-oppose in the Amlin 1965 Chase and it is hard not to see Captain Chris getting revenge on Medermit, particularly on better terms.
Of all the runners, he certainly seems the best suited to the 2m3f, with the majority of other runners ideally preferring a slightly longer race.
Somersby could pose the biggest threat after winning nicely last start and shaping as if a big-race victory would soon come his way following a number of placed efforts in Group One company.
Captain Chris is also 2/1 in the Ascot odds to win the Amlin 1965 Chase, with Somersby 10/3.