Former champion hurdler Buveur D’Air will face eight opponents in the Betway Aintree Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson’s star lost his crown at Cheltenham recently when his usually slick jumping let him down, and he was an early casualty.
He arrived there on the verge of history, chasing a third win in the race, and now needs to rebuild his reputation somewhat on Thursday – having also been beaten in the Christmas Hurdle by stablemate Verdana Blue, who takes him on again.
Henderson also runs Brain Power, another who disappointed in the Champion Hurdle.
Having suggested he may run all three of his entries, Willie Mullins’ team is down to two – with Faugheen and Melon taking up the challenge.
Faugheen, another former champion, finished third in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – while Melon has been second in the Champion Hurdle for the last two seasons.
Mullins decided to leave the mare Benie Des Dieux at home.
Supasundae, second in the race 12 months ago, and Champion Hurdle third Silver Streak add further depth.
The field is completed by Dan Skelton’s County Hurdle winner Ch’tibello and Tom George’s Summerville Boy, who returns to action having been found to be suffering from an injury after disappointing twice earlier in the season.