Past Winners » Captain Chris


I think that they have the betting wrong here. I don’t think that Finian’s Rainbow should be as far in front of his rivals in the market as he is, and I don’t think that For Non Stop should be second favourite behind him, so I am taking both of them on.

Finian’s Rainbow is a fashionable horse, he is the reigning Champion Chaser and he is high in the betting for the King George, but he really doesn’t have as much in hand of Captain Chris and Ghizao on the book as the market suggests. It is correct that he is favourite, and he could easily win, but he shouldn’t be an even money shot.

For Non Stop is just below top class for me. He keeps on chasing home top class horses like Cue Card and Al Ferof and Overturn, but he has never really shaped like a horse who can win a top class race. There are reason for believing that he was flattered by his win at Aintree on his seasonal debut, but the fact that the handicapper raised him 11lb for it means that he is the joint-second highest rated horse in this race. There is a good chance that time will tell that he is not a 162-rated horse, and he is well under-priced for me here.

Of course, either of the top two in the market could easily win, they could finish first and second, but they are betting around 2/5 the pair of them coupled at current priced, and that is far too short for me …

Captain Chris has always been really highly-regarded by Philip Hobbs. He won the 2011 Arkle, despite racing over a trip that was too short and going left-handed, which is no good to him at all, staying on really well to beat Finian’s Rainbow by almost three lengths. He managed to finish third in last year’s King George, despite the fact that he probably didn’t stay the trip, and he finished a close-up fourth in a red-hot Ryanair Chase last March despite jumping continually to his right.

He is back on a right-handed track today, which he really does need, and this intermediate trip is probably his optimum. Very soft ground would be a little bit of a worry, but he does go on easy ground, and the fact that he gets 10lb from Finian’s Rainbow and 6lb from For Non Stop, and that he has everything else in his favour, means that you can take a chance on the ground at the price.