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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Chris on course for Ascot actionHeadlines
Captain Chris

Captain Chris could have his first outing since his narrow Boxing Day defeat in next Saturday's Betfair Ascot Chase.

Already a winner at the Berkshire course in November, Philip Hobbs' nine-year-old produced a phenomenal effort in the King George VI Chase when beaten just a neck in a struggle with Long Run.

Captain Chris also has an entry in the Racing Plus Chase back at Kempton before a potential outing in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold, for which he is currently a 20-1 chance with the sponsors.

"He'll run at Ascot next weekend, all being well," said Hobbs.

Also bound for the Ascot race is last season's Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Finian's Rainbow.

The Nicky Henderson-trained 10-year-old has had a wind operation since being well-beaten behind Captain Chris at the track in November.

How Finian's Rainbow fares at Ascot will determine which of his three options from the Champion Chase, Ryanair Chase and Betfred Gold Cup he takes up at Cheltenham.

"The plan is to run at Ascot. He got bogged down in the mud there and we subsequently fiddled about with his wind," owner Michael Buckley told At The Races.

"I imagine if it rained or snowed every day and was absolutely bottomless again we might give it a miss, but otherwise we'll go there. After that we'll decide what we go for at Cheltenham."

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