Santini is one of the headline names among an 11-strong entry for Friday’s Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Newbury.
The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old won three of his four hurdles outings last term, including a Grade One heat at Aintree in April, but had to settle for third when sent off favourite for the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.
Already a point to point winner, Santini is the general 6-1 favourite for next year’s RSA Chase at Cheltenham despite the fact he is yet to run over fences under Rules.
In contrast, Harry Fry’s Bags Groove has already won twice over fences this term and he is in the mix along with the Warren Greatrex-trained La Bague Au Roi, who made a successful chase debut at Newbury earlier this month.
Grade Three hurdle winner Mr Big Shot could line up for David Pipe while other notable contenders include Dan Skelton’s Chepstow winner Spiritofthegames and the Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Secret Investor and Topofthegame.
Lostintranslation, Le Breuil, Talkischeap and Vivas complete the list of entries for the Grade Two event.
The other Grade Two feature, the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle, has been reopened.