sport

Captain back in charge

Captain Chris bounced back to form with a convincing win in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot as Finian's Rainbow trailed home last of four.

The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding had beaten Finian's Rainbow in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March 2011 but things had not gone smoothly since then.

However, the 7-2 shot travelled kindly in the hands of Richard Johnson as Captain Chris shared pacemaking duties with Ghizao, being keen to keep to the inside given his tendency to jump to his right.

Shrugging Ghizao aside, Captain Chris kept up the gallop to score by three and three-quarter lengths from For Non Stop with Ghizao third and last season's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Finian's Rainbow a tired fourth.

Hobbs, who had been struggling with flooded roads earlier in the week in the Minehead area, said: "He always jumps right on the racecourse, but his schooling has been a lot better this year.

"The King George would be the obvious race to go for now. He'd like better ground and was third in it last year, so I don't think the trip will be a problem."

Johnson said: "The ground would not have suited, but if he hadn't run today he might not have run until March given the weather.

"He jumped pretty straight and something like the King George would be on the agenda now as after that he deserves his chance.

"He's bred to be a stayer and has always suggested to us he would get a trip, even though he won the Arkle."

Nicky Henderson said of Finian's Rainbow: "Barry (Geraghty) told me to ignore the run, the excuse was ground, ground, ground and ground.

"They either go in it or they don't. We haven't learnt anything today and you wouldn't think about the King George if it was soft."