Austrian School, a half-brother to dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll, is one of 17 runners declared for the Sportpesa Chester Cup on Friday.
The four-year-old showed his credentials for the two-and-a-quarter-mile feature when landing the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh by six lengths on his seasonal debut almost three weeks ago.
Mark Johnston’s charge carries a 3lb penalty in what is one of the toughest staying handicaps in the Flat racing calendar, but is in fact 2lb well-in and did win at this meeting last year.
Austrian School has also been handed what appears a favourable draw in stall five.
The Teofilo colt is one of four Johnston-trained runners, with the Middleham Maestro also saddling Making Miracles, Watersmeet and Lucky Deal as he seeks to win this prestigious prize for the first time.
The weights are headed by last year’s winner Magic Circle, with 7lb claimer Cieren Fallon booked for the rider. However, Magic Circle has also been declared for Thursday’s Ormonde Stakes.
His trainer Ian Williams is strongly represented with Speedo Boy, Shabeeb and Time To Study all in the mix.
Low Sun, winner of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last autumn, is one of two runners from the powerful Irish stable of Willie Mullins – along with Whiskey Sour.
Other runners include last year’s second and third, Fun Mac and Who Dares Wins, while Andrew Balding saddles the 2017 winner Montaly and Cleonte.
Completing the list are Cliffs Of Dooneen, Busy Street and Mirsaale.
Matterhorn is a leading contender for the Johnston team in the Group Two Huxley Stakes.
The four-year-old was impressive in lowering the colours of Wissahickon in the Easter Classic at Lingfield on Good Friday and reverts to turf for this 10-furlong Group Two.
His five rivals include last year’s winner Forest Ranger and the third Gabrial, both trained by Richard Fahey.
Ken Condon’s stable stalwart Success Days is the sole Irish-trained runner, while Addeybb and Chief Ironside make up the sextet.