Rigadin De Beauchene can reclaim his title in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.
In a race which looks ripe for a mini-upset, Venetia Williams’ stayer is taken to come out on top, just as he did two years ago.
Though the 10-year-old’s late-season form last year does not make attractive reading - he was pulled up at Ayr and at Sandown - this is perhaps the right time to catch him.
After all, Rigadin De Beauchene goes especially well as a fresh horse, as was evidenced last season when he trounced a strong-looking field by upwards of 10 lengths in Haydock’s National Trial.
And, unlike several of his rivals at Warwick, his aptitude for a demanding test of stamina, especially on a rain-softened track, is assured.
That was the case in this Grade Three in 2013, when he showed no shortage of grace under pressure to deny Godsmejudge by half a length.
Rigadin De Beauchene is considerably higher in the weights these days, but history has shown in the Classic Chase that such weighty burdens are never too much of an issue.
That Williams has excelled in weekend handicap chases this winter adds further lustre to an already attractive profile.
Shantou Bob’s winning run was ended at Sandown early last month, but the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle represents a good opportunity to get back into the old routine.
Warren Greatrex’s likeable seven-year-old claimed three consecutive victories over hurdles since his transfer from Ireland, and was hardly disgraced in a Grade Two at the Esher circuit.
Shantou Bob lost a shoe and hung left late on, but he still came out of the Winter Novices’ Hurdle with great credit as he was only beaten a nose by Vyta Du Roc.
n Other tips - Kempton: 12.25 Officer Drivel, 1.00 Benefit Cut, 1.35 Come On Laurie, 2.10 Balder Succes, 2.40 Dawalan, 3.15 Midnight Appeal, 3.45 Dubawi Island. Warwick: 12.45 G’Dai Sydney, 1.20 Sea Current, 1.55 Deputy Dan, 2.25 Flintham, 3.00 Shantou Bob, 3.35 RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE (NAP), 4.05 Theo’s Charm. Wetherby: 12.35 Diamond Fizz, 1.10 Josses Hill, 1.45 Wordy’s Boy, 2.15 Firth Of The Clyde, 2.50 Spanish Fleet, 3.25 Ballybogey, 3.55 Verona Opera.
Double: Rigadin De Beauchene and Shantou Bob.