Dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air is the headline name among 24 entries for the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on December 1.
Nicky Henderson’s classy performer lifted this prize on his seasonal debut last term and is one of four possibles for the Seven Barrows trainer.
Charlie Parcs, We Have A Dream and Elite Hurdle scorer Verdana Blue complete his team.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned Samcro has been put in by trainer Gordon Elliott, along with Apple’s Jade, who was beaten a nose by Irving in the Fighting Fifth in 2016.
Bedrock, who lowered Samcro’s colours in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal, is reported by trainer Iain Jardine to be on course for the Gosforth Park feature.
“We were delighted with Bedrock’s win at Down Royal and he is very much a horse on the up,” said the Dumfries handler.
“We may well bump into Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle winner in the Fighting Fifth but we have beaten one hot-pot in Samcro.
“We go to Newcastle excited for our new American owners and hope to give Buveur D’Air a tough time.”
Other possibles include Tom George’s Summerville Boy, winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Dan Skelton’s County Hurdle victor Mohaayed and the Evan Williams-trained Silver Streak, successful in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.