Paddy Power New Year’s Day Chase runner-by-runner guide and best bet

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Funambule Sivola

Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Charlie Deutsch Age: 7 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Took really well to chasing last term when a 4-time winner, and back with promising second in 20f Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon. Weighted to go close returned to handicap company for in-form yard.

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Janika

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: James Bowen Age: 9 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Grade 2 winner over fences during 2019/20 but he returned from 6 months off with well-held sixth in 19f handicap chase at Chepstow in October. Tongue strap back on after a wind op with a bit to prove.

Simply The Betts

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 9 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Major improver over fences during 2019/20 season. Shaped well on return for new yard here before not jumping so well as usual when pulled up in 3m Aintree Grade 2. Well worth another chance.

Magic Saint

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Tom Buckley Age: 8 Weight: 11st 6lbs

Course winner but he’s yet to hit top form in two runs this term, fifth of 9 in 2m handicap here 50 days ago. Cheekpieces are reached for now.

Riders Onthe Storm

Trainer: Richard Hobson Jockey: Nick Scholfield Age: 9 Weight: 11st 4lbs

High-class chaser in 2019/20 but lost his way for Nigel Twiston-Davies last season. Back from 9 months off with encouraging second in 20f Aintree handicap on yard bow though, so he needs considering.

Coole Cody

Trainer: Evan Williams Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 11 Weight: 11st 4lbs

Tough sort who landed Grade 3 over C&D 21 days ago by 2l from Zanza. Has a career-high mark to overcome now but he goes really well round here and is still not taken lightly.

Zanza

Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Tom O’Brien Age: 8 Weight: 11st 4lbs

Very useful chaser who has posted three solid efforts this term, 2l second to Coole Cody in Grade 3 handicap over C&D 21 days ago. Cheekpieces on. High on the shortlist nudged up 2 lb.

Alnadam

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 9 Weight: 11st 0lbs

Took very well to fences last season when a dual 20f scorer. Faced very stiff task when last of four at Haydock on his return. Remains with potential back in handicap company.

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Espoir De Teillee

Trainer: Tom George Jockey: D. E. Mullins Age: 10 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Yet to add to his two wins last term, but he comes here on the back of excellent third in 22f handicap at Newbury 35 days ago. In the mix eased 1 lb.

Kauto Riko

Trainer: Tom Gretton Jockey: Jonathan Burke Age: 11 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Winless since 2018, but he resumed with good second in 3m Doncaster handicap three weeks ago, closing all way to line. Cheekpieces go on for the first time, and shortlisted.

A Toi Phil

Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: Jamie Moore Age: 12 Weight: 10st 7lbs

Ended time with Gordon Elliott with Listowel chase win in 2019. Only twice raced since but not disgraced in 20f Kempton handicap 11 months ago. Yard among the winners but this is no easy return.

Vienna Court

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 7 Weight: 10st 6lbs

Ended long losing run in some style in mares’ handicap over C&D on good ground 22 days ago, forging 11l clear on run-in. Hiked up 12 lb and conditions more testing now.

Galahad Quest

Trainer: Nick Williams Jockey: David Noonan Age: 6 Weight: 10st 5lbs

Opened his account over fences at Haydock (20f) in February and he has returned in good nick, still going well when falling 9th in 20f Aintree handicap four weeks ago. No forlorn hope.

Admiral Barratry

Trainer: Lucy Wadham Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 9 Weight: 10st 3lbs

Back to winning way in refitted visor in 21f Fakenham handicap 13 days ago. More is needed in this deeper contest though off a 7 lb higher mark.

High Up In The Air

Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: James Davies Age: 8 Weight: 10st 2lbs

Progressed in leaps and bounds over fences last season, completing 5-timer at Fontwell (19.5f) in February. Had winning run ended at Sandown in March but he returns with yard going well.

Deyrann De Carjac

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Brendan Powell Age: 9 Weight: 10st 2lbs

Lightly raced since Grade 2 scorer in 2019/20, but he hinted strongly at a revival when fifth to Coole Cody in handicap over C&D 21 days ago. Shouldn’t be underestimated off a reduced mark.

TIMEFORM VERDICT: Venetia Williams’ upwardly-mobile FUNAMBULE SIVOLA looks the way to go given he resumed with a promising second in Huntingdon’s Peterborough Chase and is attractively weighted back in handicap company. Coole Cody and Zanza fought out a good finish over C&D last month and command plenty of respect once more, with Alnadam and Deyrann de Carjac both high on the shortlist too in a cracking contest.

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