15:30 Cheltenham, Wednesday
Live on ITV
1. Captain Guiness (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore)
Landed his first success at Grade 2 level in the Fortria Chase at Navan on his return in November and produced a creditable effort when runner-up in the Grade 1 Paddy's Rewards Club Chase over Christmas. That was further evidence that he's vulnerable at this level, however.
2. Editeur du Gite (Gary Moore/Niall Houlihan)
He was a dual winner at this venue last term but he has cranked it up another notch this season, landing the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and ridden to perfection when accounting for both Edwardstone and Energumene in Clarence House Chase in January. Seems sure to give it a good go from the front and can't be discounted.
3. Edwardstone (Alan King/Tom Cannon)
A thoroughly likeable sort who won five in a row last season (including the Sporting Life Arkle) and he displayed top-class form when a commanding winner of the Tingle Creek at Sandown on his return in December. He was back on song after a rare jumping blip on his previous start when runner-up to Editeur du Gite in the Clarence House Chase in January. Likely to be ridden differently this time and has an excellent chance of reversing the form.
4. Energumene (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend)
Top-class chaser who has tasted defeat only twice in his career over fences, both in the Clarence House Chase (latest when staged at this venue in January). That was a first below-par effort, however, his jumping letting him down and having been an authoritative winner of this contest last season, it may be worth forgiving him that effort. The ground has come in his favour and no surprise if he bounces back.
5. Funambule Sivola (Venetia Williams/Charlie Deutsch)
Progressed well in open company last season, finishing runner-up to Energumene in this corresponding event. Bounced back to form to take Game Spirit for second year running at Newbury last month but will need to crank things up again if he's to get involved in this year's renewal of this race which looks deeper.
6. Greaneteen (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden)
He finished fourth in this race back in 2021 and developed into a top-class chaser soon after, winning a trio of Grade 1 contests. Arguably better than ever when winning the Haldon Gold Cup on reappearance but unable to live with Edwardstone in Tingle Creek and wasted a golden opportunity when third to Funambule Sivola in Game Spirit since.
7. Nube Negra (Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton)
Hasn't stood much racing in recent times but arguably unlucky not to win this in 2021. Completed a simple task without alarm when Grade 2 winner on return here in November but below his best when runner-up to Editeur du Gite in Desert Orchid at Kempton over Christmas. Freshened up since.