Nicky Henderson is two-handed with French Crusader and Countister as he aims to win the Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle for a fifth time at Ascot.
French Crusader has been towards the top of the ante-post market for Saturday’s race since finishing second to stablemate Epatante at Newbury three weeks ago on what was his first start for a year.
Countister shaped well when seventh to Harambe in the Greatwood on his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham last month.
The Alan King-trained Harambe was a doubtful participant in midweek but is also declared in the 16-runner line-up – as are Nick Williams’ Monsieur Lecoq and Evan Williams’ Quoi De Neuf, who were third and fourth respectively in the Cheltenham contest.
Mohaayed was only 11th that day, and has dropped to the same mark that saw him lift this prize 12 months ago.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls looks to Wincanton scorer Scaramanga and French recruit Tamaroc Du Mathan to give him an elusive first victory in the race.
The Charles Byrnes-trained Turnpike Trip, last sighted finishing fourth behind Envoi Allen in a Grade One at Fairyhouse at the start of the month, is the sole Irish runner.
Sofia’s Rock and Magic Dancer were the only withdrawals at the 48-hour final declaration stage.