Last year’s one-two Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai are among 10 entries for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 21.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai claimed the Grade One prize in both 2017 and 2018, but was denied the hat-trick by Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation 12 months ago.
Lostintranslation disappointed when well fancied for the King George VI Chase at Kempton, but bounced back to finish a close-up third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – and the race sponsors make him the narrow favourite to successfully defend his Haydock crown.
Bristol De Mai was only ninth in the Gold Cup, but can be expected to be more of a force back on Merseyside.
Nicky Henderson has entered his Gold Cup runner-up Santini, while Paul Nicholls has both dual King George hero Clan Des Obeaux and Topofthegame in contention.
Clan Des Obeaux was fourth in the 2018 Betfair Chase and is on course for a return to Haydock, with long-absent stablemate Topofthegame expected to instead head for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury the following week.
Nicholls said: “Clan Des Obeaux is in great form at home and will head for the Betfair Chase.
“Physically, he seems to have improved on years past. He is working hard and is on well schedule for Haydock.
“Two years ago, we went to the Betfair Chase just to put our toe in the water to see if he could run in graded races and he ran a really good race. He then went on to win the King George.
“He will be ready to put up a good performance at Haydock – there is no point going there thinking he is going to need the run. He will be ready and then that is nice timing for him to go to Kempton again on Boxing Day.”
The Richard Hobson-trained Lord Du Mesnil will be an outsider, but is a dual winner at the track.
“Lord Du Mesnil is in good form and the Betfair Chase is a possibility,” said Hobson.
“I haven’t been able to get a run into him yet this season. He has got some entries over the weekend, but we are yet to decide if he will run.
“The Betfair Chase may therefore come too quick, but he is entered and we will make a decision nearer the time.”
Bellshill (Sandy Thompson), Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex) and Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington) are the other British contenders, with Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard the sole Irish-trained entrant.