Three-times winner Bristol De Mai and Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up A Plus Tard are among 16 entries for this year’s Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 20.
Bristol De Mai has proved a very tough nut to crack in this contest since 2017 and is bidding to emulate Kauto Star who won the race four times.
His only defeat has come at the hands Lostintranslation in 2019, who has been entered again by Colin Tizzard.
Bristol De Mai’s last outing was in the Grand National, where he was pulled up with top-weight.
Henry de Bromhead has been targeting A Plus Tard at the Merseyside feature for a while given his preference for going left-handed.
Tizzard could also be represented by the veteran Native River while recent Carlisle scorer Fiddlerontheroof is another possible for the stable.
Nicky Henderson has a strong pair of possibles, both owned by JP McManus, in Champ and Chanty House.
Chantry House is due to run at Sandown on Sunday, but Champ has not been seen since pulling up in the Gold Cup after a fine run over two miles at Newbury.
“I think he put so much into jumping at Newbury he overdid it and by the time he got to Cheltenham he wouldn’t have jumped a hurdle that day,” Henderson told Sky Sports Racing.
“He’s had surgery done and we’re very happy with how it all feels and he’s moving great.
“The plan is to go to Haydock for the Betfair Chase, which has always been a complete disaster as far as I’m concerned – everything I’ve run in it has got beat and Bristol De Mai always wins it anyway!
“He has to go left-handed so he is a bit limited and we think the Betfair is where we’ll start.”
Imperial Aura has been given the option by Kim Bailey and Paul Nicholls has entered Next Destination.
Other entries from Ireland include Chatham Street Lad and Escaria Ten, who was third in the National Hunt Chase.
Clondaw Castle, Lord Du Mesnil, Royale Pagaille, Sam Brown and Waiting Patiently complete the list.
A Plus Tard has been installed as 5/2 favourite by the sponsors, with Bristol De Mai next in at 7/2.