Albertas Run: in the mix for Saturday's Betfair Ascot ChasePICTURE: Getty
Former Festival stars shaping up for Ascot
SIX former Cheltenham Festival winners featured among eleven six-day entries for the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday, including dual Ryanair Chase hero Albertas Run and last year's sportingbet.com Champion Chase winner Finian's Rainbow.
Should Albertas Run take up his engagement, it will be the 12-year-old's first outing since April last year. The 2010 and 2011 Ryanair winner was narrowly touched off in the same Festival race last year and currently rates a 33-1 shot for this year's renewal.
Finian's Rainbow has had a minor wind operation since disappointing on his return in November and holds entries in all three championship chase races at Cheltenham in March. Michael Buckley's ten-year-old will be bidding for a fourth Grade 1 win on Saturday.
Captain Chris, Pigeon Island, Teaforthree and Cue Card have all tasted Festival success in the past and will be looking to lay the foundations for more glory on Saturday.
Astracad, Big Fella Thanks, Ghizao, Somersby and Vino Griego complete the line-up for the 2m5½f showdown.
Two of Saturday's other feature races, the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot and Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, were re-opened on Monday having failed to attract ten or more entries.