Captain Chris suited by conditions in Peterborough Chase
The highlight of Thursday’s Huntingdon card is the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase over two and a half miles. The race sees the return to action of King George runner-up Captain Chris and former Ryanair winner Riverside Theatre.
Captain Chris won the Arkle Trophy in 2011 but had his training problems since. The gelding developed a habit of jumping out to his right and, despite extensive schooling, he still possesses this trait.
He is an altogether different proposition when travelling right-handed and Huntingdon seems an ideal starting point for his season. He was a late withdrawal from the Amlin Chase at Ascot through lameness but has won first time out in the past and is top on official ratings.
He put up a career-best when being denied victory in the dying strides of the King George by Long Run and he could yet attempt to go one better this year. He did not really like the heavy ground that day but will have perfect racing ground on Thursday.
Nicky Henderson’s Riverside Theatre won the Ryanair Chase in 2012 but has also had his problems recently. He has a similar profile to Captain Chris and has also been runner-up in the Kempton feature race but was a long way short of his best 12 months ago.
The most progressive horse in the field is Tom George’s Module who got within a neck of Somersby at Exeter last time with Cue Card back in third. Although Cue Card clearly improved considerably when winning the Betfair next time out, Somersby ran creditably to finish second in the Tingle Creek on Saturday and the form looks solid.
Champion Court was well backed under big weight in the Paddy Power Chase but could only manage seventh. He should be far happier in this smaller field, as too will Conquisto who suffered an injury in that race.
Ascot winner Alasi and the Paul Nicholls-trained Ghizao complete the field with the race due off at 2.00.