Allmankind attempts to add a Grade One win over fences to his top-level victory over hurdles, in the Planteur At Chapel Stud Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown.
Dan Skelton’s charge established himself one of last season’s leading juveniles, completing a hat-trick in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, but had to make do with minor honours in third in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.
After being beaten again on his reappearance at Cheltenham in October, connections decided to switch to the larger obstacles – and he could hardly have been more impressive when making a successful chasing debut at Warwick last month.
Skelton said: “Allmankind is ready for Saturday – obviously this has been the plan since he won at Warwick.
“It’s a big step up for him, and all the others in there. I think they’re a pretty fancy bunch, but hopefully he’ll go pretty close.
“He did everything well at Warwick, so fingers crossed.”
Allmankind is one of three four-year-olds in a six-strong field, along with the Paul Nicholls-trained Hitman and Jamie Snowden’s Ga Law.
French import Hitman has his sights raised significantly after winning by 30 lengths on his British bow at Ffos Las.
Nicholls, who has withdrawn Wincanton scorer Tamaroc Du Mathan due to the ground, told Betfair: “I think the world of Hitman – who made a stunning debut for us in a decent novice Chase at Ffos Las 27 days ago.
“He has improved since then, jumped like a natural on Wednesday morning – and the softer the ground at Sandown the more he will like it.
“While he does lack racing experience compared to some of his rivals, he has a huge amount of talent, and I’m very excited about him.”
“This is obviously a big step up in class for Tamaroc Du Mathan, who has taken a fair old time to mature. But he is still only five, the talent has always been there, and he finished a close fifth in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February.”
Ga Law is already three from three over fences, most recently landing the Grade Two “Rising Stars” Novices’ Chase at Wincanton.
“His half-brother Val De Law was third in a Grade One at Aintree, so we were always looking forward to seeing him over a fence,” said Snowden.
“Last season we were always treading water a bit waiting for this season to come around.
“He has looked really good, what he has done so far. We will now step him up to Grade One, and on the back of this we will see where we go in the spring.”
Colin Tizzard’s Eldorado Allen also puts his unbeaten record over fences on the line, following wins at Newton Abbot and Cheltenham.
Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father, said: “He’s been in cracking form all season.
“Whether Gumball had him beat when he fell at Cheltenham last month is anybody’s guess, but he wasn’t stopping.
“The rain they’ve had at Sandown will certainly help him – he’s got some good course form to his name and he’s a good horse on his day.”
Connections of Phoenix Way acknowledge he must raise his game after winning by a neck on his fencing introduction at Warwick for Harry Fry.
Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, said: “He did it nicely the first day, and Harry’s very happy with him. He needs to improve again, but hopefully he can give a good account of himself.
“We’ll find out more about this weekend. But he’s in good form, and we’re hoping for a good run.”