Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai are set to meet again in the Betfair Chase at Haydock – for which only a maximum field of five is possible.
There were 10 entries initially, with three taken out before Monday’s confirmations, and Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard and Nicky Henderson’s Santini will also miss Saturday’s contest.
Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation got the better of Bristol De Mai 12 months ago in what turned into a terrific duel in the Haydock straight.
It was a rare reversal at Haydock for Bristol De Mai, who had won the two previous renewals for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The third top-class contender is Paul Nicholls’ Clan Des Obeaux, a dual winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Having failed to see out the Gold Cup trip in March, Boxing Day is once more his main objective this season.
The Sandy Thomson-trained Bellshill, a Grade One winner back in his days with Willie Mullins, and Warren Greatrex’s Keeper Hill complete the list.
The sponsors make last year’s winner their 5-4 favourite.
“It’s shaping up to be a cracking 16th renewal of the iconic race,” said Betfair’s Barry Orr.
“Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai couldn’t be separated in the market last year – but this time around the 2019 winner is clear favourite at 5-4, while the two-time winner Bristol De Mai is 7-4.
“Dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux is sure to have plenty of backers – with his trainer Paul Nicholls sounding very positive about his chances – and he looks a bit of value at 3-1.”