Oiseau De Nuit has tested himself against some the best chasers in training this season in a tough campaign for trainer Colin Tizzard, but connections are hopefully it has been ideal preparation going into the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival next month.
The French-bred horse started the campaign at Exeter in the Haldon Gold Cup where he finished third, only two lengths behind the eventual winner Medermit and those following the Cheltenham Festival betting will have been keeping a close eye on him ever since.
Following his respectable run at Exeter, Oiseau De Nuit ran in back-to-back races at Cheltenham. First in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase, where he finished 12th in the 20 runner field when he was ridden by Brendan Powell, he then followed that run up with a fourth place finish in the Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase.
On the 27th December Tizzard's smart chaser ran in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton in which he lined up against Finian's Rainbow who justified going off at 4/11 favourite with a victory for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson.
Oiseau De Nuit's latest run was at Ascot in the Victor Chandler Chase in what arguably was his biggest test of his career. The Grade One contest was won by Somersby but also featured Finian's Rainbow once again and one of the leading Arkle Trophy fancies in Al Ferof. People who bet on horse racing at Betfair.com need to bear this in mind.
Another leading fancy in the Grand Annual is Astracad was unfortunate to come up against an impressive Al Ferof in his opening run at Cheltenham this season. Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner did little wrong at Prestbury Park but was no match for one of the country's top novice chasers. He did make up for the defeat though, in his return to the very same track a month later. Nigel's son Sam rode him home to a head victory ahead of Rileyev when going off 11/4 favourite.