Finian's Rainbow: made a winning comeback at Kempton last monthPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Finian's usurps Ferof as Victor Chandler favourite
FINIAN'S RAINBOW has overhauled Al Ferof at the head of the market for the Victor Chandler Chase on January 21 having initially been priced up behind last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner.
Race sponsors Victor Chandler had made Al Ferof the 5-2 favourite with Finian's Rainbow at 11-4 when entries were revealed on Wednesday but have cut the leading Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase contender to 9-4.
Trainer Nicky Henderson confirmed he was targeting the race with Finian's Rainbow on Tuesday and is a general 7-1 shot for the Champion Chase.
Novice Al Ferof is unbeaten in two starts over fences and is third favourite for the Irish Independent Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival behind Sprinter Sacre and Peddlers Cross.
The 12-strong entry for Ascot also features Kauto Stone from the same stable as Al Ferof, Forpadydeplasterer and Wishfull Thinking, who was second behind Finian's Rainbow in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton over Christmas.
Wishfull Thinking: 8-1 for AscotPICTURE: Mark Cranham
Wishfull Thinking is an 8-1 chance for Ascot and between 14-1 and 33-1 for the Champion Chase and his trainer Philip Hobbs told At The Races: "Hopefully it's a bit like last season when he took two or three runs to get under way.
"He's certainly not a horse that needs lots and lots of work so he's not lacking for fitness - maybe his breathing operation is just taking a bit of time to get working properly."
"The Victor Chandler Chase is the obvious target for him. He's got loads of pace and for the moment we're going back over the two mile route."