Energumene and Edwardstone are belatedly set to lock horns at Cheltenham on Saturday after the pair featured among six runners declared for the rescheduled Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase.
Winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Arkle Trophy respectively at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, Energumene and Edwardstone were due to clash at Ascot last weekend.
But with that meeting lost to frost, their Grade 1 tussle will instead take place as part of a bumper nine-race card at Prestbury Park.
Joe Tizzard’s Amarillo Sky was the only other runner declared for Ascot – and he will also take his chance on Saturday, along with three other contenders for the extended two-mile contest.
Gary Moore supplemented dual course winner Editeur De Gite earlier this week, with the Venetia Williams-trained Funambule Sivola and Sizing Pottsie from David Pipe’s yard the other hopefuls.
The Paddy Power Cotswold Chase also throws up an intriguing Anglo-Irish clash, with Dan Skelton’s Protektorat opposed by the Emmet Mullins-trained Noble Yeats.
Last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup third Protektorat is the marginal favourite following his brilliant display in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, but Grand National hero Noble Yeats should not be underestimated judged on his impressive victory in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree in December.
Lucinda Russell’s stable star Ahoy Senor bids to get his season back on track, having failed to fire in either the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby or the King George at Kempton either side of finishing third behind Noble Yeats on Merseyside.
The admirable Frodon (Paul Nicholls), Dusart (Nicky Henderson) and Sounds Russian (Ruth Jefferson) complete the six-strong field.
The roof could come off the grandstand if Paisley Park can land a fourth successive victory in the Dahlbury Stallions At Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle.
Emma Lavelle’s pride and joy may be getting on in years at the age of 11, but proved the fire still burns bright by landing a third Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The veteran faces six rivals on his return to the Cotswolds, including Jeremy Scott’s Dashel Drasher and the Nicholls-trained Gelino Bello.
Scriptwriter bids to complete his hat-trick for Milton Harris in the opening JBC Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, while Cheltenham Festival hero Delta Work heads a 15-strong field for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
Pembroke (Skelton) and Henri The Second (Nicholls), meanwhile, are two of the leading contenders for the Grade Two Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.