Bristol De Mai and Cue Card feature in a six-strong field declared for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
With Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John withdrawn as anticipated, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai is a warm order to follow up his victory in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby three weeks ago.
Having unseated Paddy Brennan in the Charlie Hall, Colin Tizzard’s stable stalwart Cue Card will be partnered by Harry Cobden for the first time as he bids to match Kauto Star’s record of four victories in the Grade One on Merseyside.
Paddy Power are a best-priced 11-8 about Bristol De Mai, while Cue Card is no better than Ladbrokes’ standout 2-1 to match Kauto Star with a fourth win.
In Sizing John’s absence, Irish hopes rest with Gordon Elliott’s Outlander, who bounced back to form with a third top-level triumph in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal earlier this month.
Tea For Two represents Nick Williams and Lizzie Kelly, while Richard Hobson’s Shantou Flyer and Traffic Fluide from Gary Moore’s stable complete the line-up.