Tom George feels the conditions of the Neville Lumb Novices’ Chase tilt the scales in the favour of The Worlds End at Cheltenham on Friday.
A decent staying hurdler last season, the seven-year-old made a faultless start over fences at Chepstow in October, but could only finish third at Cheltenham’s November meeting.
Paul Nicholls’ Ibis Du Rheu won that day and the pair meet again, although there is an 8lb turnaround at the weights for less than three lengths.
Also in the field is Neil King’s Lil Rockerfeller and Emma Lavelle’s Gunfleet.
“There’s a bit of a weight difference and also I think this track (New course) will suit us better than the other one,” said George.
“The New course is a bit more galloping and hopefully having had a bit of experience now can help him reverse the placings.
“It’s a very interesting race, despite the small field.”
Splitting Ibis Du Rheu and The Worlds End was Warren Greatrex’s Theatre Territory – but rather than take them on again she runs in the CF Roberts 25 Years Of Sponsorship Handicap Chase.
While the eight-year-old is yet to win in seven starts over fences, she has never finished out of the frame, including in some good races like the Topham over the Grand National fences.
“We decided on the handicap rather than the novice because she just looks better in,” said Greatrex.
“She seems in good order and hopefully she can get off the mark. She’s been so consistent and run well a lot of times, but it would be nice to get her head in front.
“It’s her second run after a wind op, she’s in great form at home and is in tip-top order, hopefully this can be the day.
“She’s got a nice weight, she’ll like the ground so she ticks all the boxes.”
In opposition is George’s course regular Singlefarmpayment, who was fourth behind the reopposing Rock The Kasbah on his seasonal return.
“When he ran the other day that was three-miles-three and that just stretched him a little bit first time out,” said George.
“With a run under his belt and coming back slightly in trip, that should just make it a bit easier for him.
“He travelled and jumped as well as ever, but I think having not had a run it just stretched him a bit.
“He always runs well there and there’s no reason to think he won’t again.”