Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Finians Rainbow looks set to return to the track this weekend after connections entered him in the Amlin Chase at Ascot. The Nicky Henderson horse came out on top in the Champion Chase at the Festival last season following a titanic tussle with Sizing Europe and his return is eagerly awaited. The Amlin Chase is a race run over 2m3f at Ascot as connections of Finians Rainbow continue to scratch their heads over his ideal distance. The thought is that he will benefit from the extra trip this season but likewise he has proven himself to be the best in the business over the Champion Chase distance of two miles. Henderson is also likely to want to step Finians Rainbow up in trip this season in order to avoid clashing with stable mate and hot prospect Sprinter Sacre who starts the season as the hot favourite in the Queen Mother Betting. The Seven Barrows trainer has an embarrassment of chasing riches this season and he will be eager to spread them across all the big races at the Festival if at all possible.
One thing that is clear at this stage is that which ever route Finians Rainbow takes this season he is sure to be a major contender in the betting. The Amlin Chase looks like a great starting point for the Champion Chaser with an excellent list of entries being released at the five day stage. Potential opponents for Finians Rainbow include the excellent For Non Stop who will be having his second run of the season and Captain Chris who actually beat Finians Rainbow in 2011 to win the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham. A number of these horses could well be on their way to the King George Chase at Kempton Boxing Day including Finians Rainbow who could be aimed at the three mile race. How he fares at Ascot and then at Kempton will tell punters plenty about his potential race at Cheltenham in March with the Champion Chase, the Ryanair Chase and even the Gold Cup still potential destinations for the Michael Buckley owned horse.