Colin Tizzard’s Welsh Grand National hero Elegant Escape is one of eight possibles in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.
Second in the Ladbrokes Trophy to sidelined stablemate Sizing Tennessee prior to his big day at Chepstow, he is one of three potential Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup challengers for Tizzard.
Current title holder Native River and Thistlecrack give the Dorset handler a strong hand this year and Elegant Escape could now get the chance to prove himself outside of handicap company.
Paul Nicholls’ Frodon is the highest-rated runner among the entries, on a lofty mark of 169, and his connections are also harbouring Gold Cup ambitions.
Having struck up a great rapport with Bryony Frost, he has taken his form to a new level this season, winning the Old Roan Chase and the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
Nicholls could also run Black Corton, another who gets on well with Frost.
Nicky Henderson has two possibles in Terrefort, who is on the comeback trail having finished behind Elegant Escape at Sandown earlier this season, and Valtor, who spreadeagled the field on his British debut at Ascot.
The latter missed the Peter Marsh Chase last weekend with a minor issue.
Jonjo O’Neill’s 2017 Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco, who is also in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster this weekend, Harry Fry’s American and the Richard Hobson-trained Allysson Monterg complete the list.