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."
21 October 2014Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
Storm breezes to Exeter victory
BHA moves to address small fields
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent