Solo and three fellow big guns near the top of the market are all among a final field of 13 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
Paul Nicholls’ Adonis winner is joined on Friday at Cheltenham by unbeaten pair Goshen and Allmankind – for Gary Moore and Dan Skelton respectively – as well as Ireland’s big hope, Henry de Bromhead’s Aspire Tower.
Allmankind has not run since his victory in the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas, and Goshen has also been absent since his third success at Ascot in January.
Other notable contenders include two more from Ireland – Joseph O’Brien’s Grade One winner A Wave Of The Sea and Willie Mullins’ filly Burning Victory – as well as Nicholls’ Sir Psycho, successful in last month’s Victor Ludorum at Haydock.
Philip Hobbs’ Thyme Hill, winner of the Grade One Challow at Newbury on his most recent start in late December, is one of 19 declarations in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
Paul Nolan’s Latest Exhibition, also a Grade One scorer last time at the Dublin Racing Festival, leads an Irish challenge which includes three Mullins hopes in Aione, Janidil and Monkfish.
Gordon Elliott relies on his three-time hurdles winner Fury Road for the three-mile novice championship – while David Pipe’s Ramses De Teillee, who has made such a success of his switch back to the smaller obstacles this season, and Colin Tizzard’s Harry Senior and Lieutenant Rocco catch the eye too.
A maximum field of 24 will line up as Hazel Hill defends his crown in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase.
Chief among rivals for Philip Rowley’s prolific hunter chaser and point-to-pointer is Jonjo O’Neill’s former Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco, who beat Hazel Hill when they met at Wetherby last month.
They are joined by the lightly-raced but very well-touted Staker Wallace – owned like Minella Rocco by JP McManus and trained in Ireland by Enda Bolger – Mullins’ Billaway and dual Festival winner Don Poli, trained by Nick Pearce to win two Alnwick point-to-points this season.