Ascot Victor Chandler Chase betting
ONLY three horses have won both the Victor Chandler Chase and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in the same season, and this year’s renewal promises to offer plenty of clues as to how things will pan out in March, writes Mikey Mumford. Paul Nicholls has won this race for the last three years and he looks to hold another strong hand with last year’s Supreme Novice winner Al Ferof bidding to become the youngest winner since Turgeonev’s success in 2002. However, he faces stiff competition from Arkle second Finian’s Rainbow and Venetia Williams’s Somersby, who will look to continue the excellent record of eight-year-olds in this race. View all the free bets for this race, and check out our Cheltenham 2013 section as well.
Al Ferof Two out of two as a chaser this year and was most impressive at Cheltenham on his penultimate start albeit in a much weaker race than this. Wasn’t quite as impressive at Sandown last time when holding on gamely over 2m, but suggestion there is still more to come from him. Trainer has excellent record in this and should be thereabouts once more.
Finian’s Rainbow Won five of his six chase starts including at Kempton last time where he beat Wishfull Thinking on slightly worse terms than he does here. He has won over further here and his Arkle second to Captain Chris makes him the one to beat here. The forecast rain isn’t expected to inconvenience him too much; he is a winner on soft ground and remains high on the list.
Forpadydeplasterer Sole Irish interest and ‘nearly’ horse who has got his head in front only twice in 16 chase starts. Was runner-up in the Queen Mother in 2010, but was no match for Big Zeb the last twice. Has work to do on that evidence and likely to find one or two too good once more.
Gauvain Decent record over fences and four-and-a-half length victor over Somersby at Huntingdon last time put behind the disappointment of his fall in the Tingle Creek. Steps up in company again here though, and was a distant fifth in this race twelve months ago. Should give his usual sound running nonetheless, and place claims at best.
I’m So Lucky Officially the lowest rated of these and showed no signs of an upset at Sandown last time. Mid-division in this race last year and unlikely he’ll be up to the task this time; best watched on this occasion.
Oiseau De Nuit Has been a good servant over the years but looked a little once paced last twice behind Finian’s Rainbow and Wishfull Thinking. Advancing years do him no favour and remains vulnerable to a younger rival here; opposable.
Somersby Rated the highest of these with a mark of 166, but was well held in fourth in the King George last time. This looks more suitable though, but must reverse the Huntingdon form with Gauvain if he is to challenge. Consistent type however, and likely to run into a place if nothing else.
Wishfull Thinking Touched off by Finian’s Rainbow last time before disappointing showing at Sandown the time before. Certainly not without a chance on the pick of his Jewson second last year and could give the two market principals most to think about if putting his best foot forward, place claims at the least.
An interesting renewal which includes last year’s second Somersby and Arkle runner-up Finian’s Rainbow. The latter should go very close again here and has the beating of a few of his rivals but the selection rests with AL FEROF, who despite a scare last time can maintain his trainer’s excellent record in this race. [Mikey Mumford]