Captain Chris bounced back to form with a convincing win in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot as Finian's Rainbow trailed home last of the four runners.
The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding had beaten Finian's Rainbow in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March 2011 but things had not gone smoothly since then, though the 7-2 shot travelled kindly in the hands of Richard Johnson as he shared pacemaking duties with Ghizao, being keen to keep to the inside given his tendency to jump to his right.
Shrugging Ghizao aside, Captain Chris kept up the gallop to score by three and three-quarter lengths from For Non Stop with Ghizao third and last season's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Finian's Rainbow a tired fourth.
Hobbs, who had been struggling with flooded roads earlier in the week in the Minehead area, said: "He always jumps right on the racecourse, but his schooling has been a lot better this year.
"The King George would be the obvious race to go for now. He'd like better ground and was third in it last year, so I don't think the trip will be a problem."
Nicky Henderson said of Finian's Rainbow: "Barry (Geraghty) told me to ignore the run, the excuse was ground, ground, ground and ground.
"They either go in it or they don't. We haven't learnt anything today and you wouldn't think about the King George if it was soft."
6 December 2013Bec puzzler for Lavelle
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Captain taking charge for Henderson
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King out to reign in Henry VIII
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Sir champing at bit for Durkan date
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Aigles well ahead of fourth Cup bid
Rasen to check on wind
Butler considers ban response
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Oscar on course for Cheltenham
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4 December 2013Butler handed five-year ban
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3 December 2013British pair head Power weights
Sea sidesteps Exeter date
Madison Du Berlais dies of colic
Huxley retired from the saddle
Lynam hoping for winning Power
Mullins maps Sceaux plan
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Bob on World trail
Sacre a doubt for Tingle Creek
Europe sets sail for Leopardstown
Mullins banks on Hurricane progress
Stellar turnout for Lexus
Wishfull heads Sefton contenders
Junior at Becher summit
Fenton big-hitters near return
Tank team consider options