Buveur D’Air has just the four rivals as he bids to join the elite club of dual winners in the Unibet Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The two-time Champion Hurdle hero goes to the Sunbury venue after making a convincing seasonal debut when beating Samcro in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.
The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old, who has won his last 11 starts, will now try to join such greats as Lanzarote, Faugheen and Binocular, who carried the colours of the same owner JP McManus to victory in 2010 and 2011, as double Christmas Hurdle scorers.
Henderson, who has already trained a record seven winners of this Grade One contest, also saddles Verdana Blue, winner of the Elite Hurdle last month and runner-up in a Listed race on the Flat three weeks ago.
Elite runner-up If The Cap Fits drops back in trip after winning the Coral Hurdle for trainer Harry Fry over two and a half miles at Ascot last month.
The Warren Greatrex-trained Boite and Ben Pauling’s Global Citizen complete the quintet.
Henderson’s exciting young prospect Santini is among a field of seven declared for the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
The six-year-old made an impressive debut over fences at Newbury on what was only his fifth start under rules, defeating Rocky’s Treasure by four lengths in the Grade Two John Francome Novices’ Chase at the beginning of the month.
The runner-up franked the form with an emphatic success at Doncaster recently.
His rivals include the Fry-trained Bags Groove, who has shown progressive form over fences, winning his last three races.
Greatrex throws his talented mare La Bague Au Roi into the fray after brushing aside her opponents in two runs over fences.
Tom George’s The Worlds End put up his best performance over fences to date at Cheltenham last time, when he made all the running to defeat Ibis Du Rheu by 26 lengths.
Kelly Morgan’s Red Indian, the Paul Nicholls-trained Topofthegame and No Hassle Hoff from Dan Skelton’s stable make up the seven.