Buveur D’Air will face just two rivals when he makes his comeback in the New One Unibet Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
The dual Champion Hurdle hero is in line for his eagerly-awaited return after being sidelined since he picked up a nasty injury to his hoof at Newcastle in November 2019.
The Nicky Henderson-trained 10-year-old had a six-inch splinter stuck in his foot when beaten in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, requiring surgery.
It has been a long road, but Buveur D’Air has been pleasing Henderson of late and is now ready to return to the fray.
The Grade 2 contest sees him take on last year’s winner Ballyandy, from the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable, and Donald McCain’s Navajo Pass.
Royale Pagaille heads a field of 10 for the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase.
The Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old relishes testing conditions and has registered convincing victories on this course and at Kempton this season.
Sam’s Adventure, trained by Brian Ellison, demonstrated his liking for a test of stamina when landing the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase over course and distance last month.
Anthony Honeyball is two-handed with Sam Brown and Acey Milan. The latter is one of five horses running from outside the handicap. The others are Lamanver Pippin, Potters Legend, Just Your Type and Claud And Goldie.
Allart, a highly-promising winner on his fencing debut at Ascot last month, will be a warm order for the race carrying his trainer’s name, the Read Nicky Henderson’s Unibet Blog Novices’ Chase.
The seven-year-old is one of five declared for the Grade 2 contest over two and a half miles.
The quartet of Empire Steel, Marown, Silber Hallmark and Galahad Quest should provide decent opposition.
The other Grade 2 on the card is the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle, which also has a field of five.
Tom Symonds saddles course and distance scorer Llandinabo Lad, while Michael Scudamore’s Nada To Prada took a Listed contest on this course last month.
Falvoir, Minella Drama and Anythingforlove complete the quintet.