Cloudy Dream can make a successful start to the new campaign in the Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree tomorrow.
The eight-year-old has been a fine servant to owner Trevor Hemmings, plying his trade at the top level for the past couple of seasons under the tutelage of the late Malcolm Jefferson and then his daughter Ruth.
The grey has become something of a nearly horse, with his 13 chase starts yielding only three victories.
However, he has filled the runner-up spot on no less than eight occasions and has been unfortunate enough to chase home Champion Chaser Altior, his Champion Hurdle-winning stablemate Buveur D'Air and a Gold Cup hero in Native River.
Cloudy Dream has finished second on each of his three previous visits to Aintree, including when narrowly beaten by Smad Place in this race a year ago, and he will surely appreciate being back on decent ground.
He makes his first start since joining Donald McCain and providing he is fit enough to do himself justice, the strong-travelling gelding should prove hard to beat.
Polydora is of significant interest in the Merseyrail Chase. Tom Lacey's inmate won at Chepstow and Exeter over hurdles last season and rounded off his campaign by filling the runner-up spot here in May.
That form looks watertight with the winner, Black Sam Bella, subsequently bolting up at Warwick and the third, Sky Pirate, scoring on his next start at Worcester.
Polydora was raised 3lb for his fine effort and kicks off his career over fences off what appears a perfectly workable mark of 131.
AINTREE: 12.40 Dorking Cock, 1.15 Quest For Life, 1.50 Exitas, 2.25 Haul Away, 3.00 CLOUDY DREAM (NAP), 3.35 Polydora, 4.10 Legends Gold.
GALWAY: 12.35 Getaway Katie Mai, 1.05 Blow By Blow, 1.40 Aranhill Chief, 2.15 Gunfire Reef, 2.50 Karl Der Grosse, 3.25 Fine Theatre, 4.00 Wicklow Brave, 4.35 Cotton End.
WEXFORD: 12.20 Panther Soul, 12.50 Chambord Du Lys, 1.25 Edelpour, 2.00 Wild Desire, 2.35 Court Adjourned, 3.10 Crazyheart, 3.45 Conduct Yourself, 4.20 Miss Chevious Girl.
WINCANTON: 1.00 Arty Campbell, 1.35 Pontresina, 2.10 Darling Maltaix, 2.45 Sumkindofking, 3.20 Rhythm Is A Dancer, 3.55 Teaser, 4.30 Mick Thonic.
DOUBLE: Cloudy Dream and Polydora