Barry Geraghty will partner Master Dee in the Betdaq Handicap Chase at Kempton on Saturday.
Fergal O'Brien's ultra-consistent chaser is winless so far this season, but has been running well in defeat, including when finishing second on his latest appearance at Aintree in November.
Johnny Burke was on board on his most recent outing, while Paddy Brennan is his regular partner.
But with Brennan heading north to ride the O'Brien-trained Chase The Spud in the Eider Chase at Newcastle, O'Brien has snapped up Geraghty's services for this prestigious contest.
O'Brien said: "He's in good form and hopefully he'll run well. Barry Geraghty rides him.
"In 20 runs he has never been out the first three, which is unbelievable."
Master Dee features in a final field of 15 runners.
With Gold Present not declared, the weights are headed by the Colin Tizzard-trained Theatre Guide, who claimed this prize in 2016.
In Gold Present's absence, Nicky Henderson relies on the veteran Josses Hill.
Ante-post favourite Acting Lass also held an entry in the Pendil Novices' Chase on the same card, but has been declared for the feature event.
Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles Tintern Theatre and Ballykan, while other leading contenders include the Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Art Mauresque and As De Mee, Jonjo O'Neill's Go Conquer and Theatre Territory from Warren Greatrex's yard.
Label Des Obeaux (Alan King), Vibrato Valtat (Emma Lavelle), Loose Chips (Charlie Longsdon), Relentless Dreamer (Rebecca Curtis) and Monbeg Charmer (Charlie Longsdon) complete the line-up.