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Last Updated: 13/12/12 1:16pm
Midnight Chase: Returns to Cheltenham on Friday
Neil Mulholland is keeping his fingers crossed that a return to Cheltenham will help Midnight Chase return to winning ways on Friday.
The 10-year-old has an awesome record at Prestbury Park, having won five times from nine course starts while he has also finished fifth and seventh in the last two renewals of the Gold Cup.
Having finished third behind Silviniaco Conti on his seasonal return in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, Midnight Chase takes a significant drop in class for the Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase.
"We're looking forward to getting back to Cheltenham with him. He obviously loves it round there and the ground is lovely at the moment," said Mulholland.
"He won this race two years ago and he's going there in good order.
"He has to give weight all round but at least he is meeting his opponents on the right terms, where as he has been wrong at the weights in some of the conditions races he's been running in.
"We'll see how he gets on but the plan at the moment is for him to go back to Cheltenham in January for the Argento Chase and then to either Cheltenham or Aintree in the spring."
Saint Are aims to get his season back on track after an early fall in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury a fortnight ago.
Trainer Tim Vaughan did consider turning his six-year-old out quickly for last weekend's Becher Chase over Aintree's Grand National fences, but decided to give his charge more time.
"We did think about running in the Becher but we schooled him during the week and he just wasn't foot perfect, so I didn't want to give him a fright over those big fences having only fallen the week before," said the Welsh handler.
"He seems in good shape and hopefully we can get him back on track over the regulation fences on Friday.
"The Grand National is definitely a race I have in mind for him as he loves Aintree and has the right sort of profile to run well in the race, but obviously it's a long way off yet."
Midnight Chase and Saint Are feature in a high-class field of nine runners, with Planet Of Sound a major contender for Philip Hobbs.
The Venetia Williams-trained Quartz De Thaix is on a hat-trick, while Becauseicouldntsee and Crash both make the journey from Ireland.
Bradley has every chance having finished a close second at the track last month, with Master Overseer and Billie Magern completing the field.