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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Henderson - Rainbow ready to startHeadlines
Finian's Rainbow

Nicky Henderson has declared himself much happier with Finian's Rainbow heading into the seasonal return of the champion chaser than he was 12 months ago.

Henderson's charge won a thrilling renewal of the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March before following up over two and a half miles in the Melling Chase at Aintree, and faces just four rivals in the Amlin 1965 Chase.

Henderson said: "I wasn't happy with him this time last year, but he's been a completely different horse this time. He's in good form, I just hope the ground doesn't get too sticky. I just want to get him started."

Paul Nicholls' Ghizao returned to form with a victory at Kempton earlier this month and steps back up to Grade Two company, but part-owner Andy Stewart is under no illusions about the task he will face in Berkshire.

Stewart said: "It's a very competitive race and we'd be up against it with Finian's Rainbow and Captain Chris. He's fresh and well, though, and he won on soft at Kempton, but I think he would have a lot to do against the champion chaser.

"He looked like being top class at one point and wasn't beaten far by Finian's Rainbow so he will take his chance and we will see whether he's a handicapper or something better."

The Nick Williams-trained For Non Stop tries to supplement his outstanding Old Roan Chase victory at Aintree last month.

Williams expects For Non Stop to find this a tough ask as he is rated 11lb inferior to Finian's Rainbow, but will have just 4lb in hand under the race conditions.

He said: "It's a very strong race. We are not at all well in (at the weights) with Finian's Rainbow and Captain Chris in terms of official ratings so I think we're up against it.

"The trip is right for him and he is fit and well but we are just not favoured by the weights. The fact he's had a run should help him - that must be an advantage - while the soft ground shouldn't be too much of a problem for him."

23 March 2017

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Jean-Claude Rouget stars Almanzor and La Cressonniere set for big 2017
Cheltenham ace Yorkhill heads Ryanair entries at Fairyhouse
Let's Dance figures in Fairyhouse list
Supreme ruler Labaik in great heart with Fairyhouse and Punchestown on the radar
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Hopes high Derek Fox will return from injury to ride One For Arthur in National
Mags Mullins in no hurry to map out Debuchet plans
Enda Bolger hoping Aintree fences will fire up On The Fringe
Cheltenham hero Presenting Percy in frame for Grade One honours at Punchestown
Karl Burke keen on Temple Stakes return for Quiet Reflection
Red-hot Richard Johnson secures Warwick four-timer
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Ruth Carr issues Kempton poser to new recruit Sovereign Debt
Aintree 'the target' for injured Barry Geraghty
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Andrew Slattery looking to new recruit Dinkum Diamond to sparkle at Naas

22 March 2017

BHA planning to toughen up licensing procedures for new jockeys
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David Pipe looking to National duo to shine on Aintree stage
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Arrogate drawn in stall nine for Dubai World Cup assignment
Sandra Hughes hoping Acapella can make Punchestown amends
Vieux Lion Rouge leads Pipe's National assault
Clan Des Obeaux back in the groove at Exeter for Paul Nicholls
Robin Dickin gives Thomas Crapper Topham entry at Aintree
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Creggs Pipes blowing hot as Naas stages Flat curtain-raiser
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Nico de Boinville says Might Bite has the appetite to show 'immense potential'
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21 March 2017

Louisa Carberry to break new ground with first British runner at Newbury
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Jilly Cooper and Bob Champion the star guests at Raceform reunion
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Airlie Beach in contention for Fairyhouse prize
Ellmarie Holden planning chase campaign for Ex Patriot next term
Malcolm Jefferson to target Aintree with Arkle runner-up Cloudy Dream
Harrington sets sights on Punchestown Gold with Cheltenham hero Sizing John
Colin Tizzard biding his time on Finian's Oscar decision
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20 March 2017

Gary Moore has Punchestown or Sandown in mind for Ar Mad
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Warren Greatrex outlines Aintree aim for Cole Harden
No hurry for Harry Fry to map out post-Cheltenham plans
Fergal O'Brien planning racecourse spin for National hope Perfect Candidate

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