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."
28 November 2014Lameness derails Annie Grace bid
Rubi makes handicap return
Jockeys to get compensation boost
Welsh dress Rehearsal for Victors
Irving goes forth in Fifth
December appeal date for Fenton
Upbeat McCoy back for More
Jumping Djak excites Walsh
Gentildonna back for Moore at Tokyo
Mor the merrier for in-form King
The New One going International
Sedgefield jockeys decline appeal
Henderson cool on Simonsig return
Pendra aiming to book Irish ticket
Sacre 'not quite ready' for Sandown
Irving tops Fighting field
Djakadam leads Hennessy hopefuls
George goal for Ferof
27 November 2014Coney seeks Newbury compensation
Jolly good result for Fry
Karezak takes Newbury test
Meade eyeing Monks return
Uttoxeter being monitored
Fehily answers Unioniste call
Irving fighting fit for Newcastle
Fit-again McCoy rules out landmark
Bobs confirmed for Lexus repeat
King expects Mor from Carraig
Cheltenham foes back on Gold trail
BHA announces prize-money fillip
Grant handed six-month ban
Banned Fenton 'less than truthful'
26 November 2014McCoy makes winning return
National aim for Wyck
Hand up for Becher challenge
Meade admits Riches ground question
McCoy leaning towards Merry mount
Christmas aim for Owega
Walsh expecting bold Sceaux show
Smith sadness at Mania retirement
Cadeaux among Hong Kong hopefuls
Staying aims for Trev
Retirement for National hero Mania
Fenton lodges ban appeal
Knott found in breach of rules
No stopping Twiston-Davies
Bans for jockeys in flag drama
Djak experience a concern for Walsh
More headlines Long Distance field
Tributes flow for Lady Herries
McCoy returns at Fontwell
25 November 2014Void race drama at Sedgefield
Colombieres stars in Mullins entry
Bridgwater buoyed by Bolster
Trade ready to storm Hong Kong
Bowe ponders Robin Power play
Apache on the march for Drinmore
Pipe - Stamina key to Bally chance
Sacre not guaranteed for Sandown
Tower 'sore' after Navan spill
Spirit ensures more Henderson woe
Walsh praise for Vautour
Walsh cool on Faugheen odds
Victory team on weather watch
New relief for Twiston-Davies
Nicholls planning dual George raid
Leather in fine form ahead of Cup