Black Corton tops the weights among the remaining 19 contenders for Kempton’s 888Sport Handicap Chase.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has more than halved his potential challenge to four runners – headed by Black Corton, a Grade One course-and-distance winner as a novice in 2017.
Nicholls also supplies Adrien Du Pont, one of the ante-post favourites for Saturday’s big handicap and due to receive a stone from 11st 12lb top weight Black Corton if both run.
His two other possibles are Romain De Senam and Sametegal.
Harry Fry’s Just A Sting, another course-and-distance winner when he last ran at Christmas, and Jane Williams’ Kempton regular Erick Le Rouge are two others towards the head of the betting.
Dr Richard Newland’s lightly-raced and lightly-weighted Dashing Perk is also still in the mix – as is Tom George’s 10-year-old course specialist Double Shuffle, twice runner-up in this race, and also second in the 2017 King George VI Chase here.
Ben Pauling’s Grand National possible Kildisart, Talkischeap from Alan King’s yard and Henry Daly’s novice Whatmore are among the remainder still in contention.
Kempton also stages three Grade Two novice races – each with an illustrious roll of honour and providing a late chance to state Cheltenham Festival credentials.
The 888Sport Pendil Novices’ Chase has attracted 13 entries, including the Jane Williams-trained Erick Le Rouge.
Commanche Red, emphatically successful over course and distance for Chris Gordon on Boxing Day, is joined among the possibles by Nicholls’ Kauto Novices’ Chase faller Master Tommytucker and Colin Tizzard’s three-time graded winner Reserve Tank.
There are also 13 on course for the 888Sport Take ‘Em On Adonis Juvenile Hurdle – including two unbeaten fillies for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, who won the race last year.
Fujimoto Flyer, trained by Emmet Mullins in Ireland, has been absent since winning at Auteuil in September, while Nicky Henderson’s Nanabelle has two victories at Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Nicholls’ Solo is new to British action, having won the second of his two Auteuil starts.
Noel Williams’ Doncaster Listed winner Fantastic Ms Fox is among the likely opposition.
She and Nanabelle both have an alternative entry against older horses in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle – which has 15 possibles, also including the unbeaten Buzz for Henderson.
Following the loss of Wincanton on Saturday, the Kingwell Hurdle will now take place on the Kempton card.
Those who had previously declared for the Kingwell Hurdle will have to re-enter, with entries closing on Tuesday.