Paul Nicholls has red-hot favourite Twist Magic “in seriously good order” for the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot tomorrow.
The six-year-old is 4-6 with the race sponsors to follow up his emphatic victory in last month’s Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
“This has been Twist Magic’s target since he won the Tingle Creek. He showed that he didn’t mind the ground a bit softer,” said Nicholls.
“He’s very well and we’re hopeful he’ll take all the beating.
“The Victor Chandler looks ideal for Twist Magic and he’s in seriously good order,” he told Teletext.
The champion trainer also saddles Hoo La Baloo and is convinced he will not be disgraced.
“Hoo La Baloo always runs a good race and he was fourth to Twist Magic in the Tingle Creek. He was second to Voy Por Ustedes last time and he’ll run a good race again,” Nicholls went on.
“Twist Magic is the one they’ll have to beat and I think the biggest dangers are Mansony and Hoo La Baloo.”
David Pipe believes his runner Tamarinbleu, winner of the Boylesports Gold Cup, deserves his place in the field but that the terms of race suit the market leader.
“He deserves to be in the line-up but now it is a conditions race it is well suited to Twist Magic,” said Pipe.
“We’d appreciate a bit better ground I would have thought, but it is only a small field so we’ll see what we can do.
“There’s plenty of front-runners in the race so we’ll see how it pans out.”
Dessie Hughes admits Twist Magic is the one to beat, but is expecting a bold show from Schindlers Hunt.
“I’m hoping for a good run. Twist Magic is going to be hard to beat but our horse will run a good race, I’m sure,” said the Irish trainer.
The eight-year-old was third to fellow Irish challenger Mansony, beaten two and a half lengths, on his latest start in the Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown three weeks ago.
Hughes felt the going was too fast for Schindlers Hunt that day and believes his charge will handle the tougher conditions at Ascot.
“He’s good after his run at Leopardstown and the ground was a bit quick for him there,” the County Kildare-based handler continued.
“He’s travelled over well and I don’t think the ground will bother him too much.”
Mansony will attempt to give trainer Arthur Moore his second victory in the race after Jeffell in 1998.
“Hopefully he’s still on the upgrade. He will need to be, but he’s in good form,” said Moore.
“The ground should not be a problem. If the meeting is off, I might send him to Punchestown in a couple of weeks for the Grade Two Tied Cottage Chase.”
Victor Chandler Chase betting:
Sponsors: 4-6 Twist Magic, 7-2 Mansony, 8-1 Schindlers Hunt, 12-1 Ashley Brook, 16-1 Tamarinbleu, Hoo La Baloo, 500-1 Pauntley Gofa.
Ladbrokes: 8-13 Twist Magic, 4-1 Mansony, 9-1 Schindlers Hunt, 12-1 Ashley Brook, Tamarinbleu, 20-1 Hoo La Baloo, 500-1 Pauntley Gofa.
Totesport: 4-7 Twist Magic, 4-1 Mansony, 8-1 Schindlers Hunt, 12-1 Ashley Brook, 16-1 Hoo La Baloo, Tamarinbleu, 500-1 Pauntley Gofa.