Defi Du Seuil is on course to clash with Un De Sceaux in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday after both were among eight names left in the Grade 1 at the five-day stage.
Defi Du Seuil looked better than ever when beating 2017 Tingle Creek winner Politilogue – who is also among the eight – in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last month and is the 13-8 favourite with Betfair Sportsbook to collect a sixth Grade 1 success.
Star 11-year-old Un De Sceaux has not been seen since securing a memorable victory in the BoyleSports Champion Chase at Punchestown in April but looks set to return in search of a second Tingle Creek success after victory in 2016. Betfair make him the 100-30 second favourite.
The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned pair Sceau Royal and Janika also retain their entries, the latter having been an impressive winner for Nicky Henderson in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter at the start of November.
The lightly raced Waiting Paitently, who was beaten 29 lengths by Min in the Melling Chase at Aintree in April, could be in line to make his seasonal debut, while the list of eight is completed by the Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos and blistering front-runner Ornua, trained by Henry de Bromhead.
Eight still in the Henry VIII reckoning
Summerville Boy is one of eight to remain in contention for the Racingtv.com Henry VIII Novices' Chase (1.50), the first Grade 1 at Sandown on Saturday afternoon.
The 2018 Supreme winner lost his way over hurdles last season but looked rejuvenated when making a winning chasing debut at Uttoxeter at the start of November
He could be joined in the field by Grade 2 winning hurdler Grand Sancy, who is set for his chasing debut after finishing runner-up behind the classy Fusil Raffles at Wincanton last month.
Dan Skelton could have as many as three runners with five-timer seeking Marie Banrigh joined by talented stablemates Beakstown and Nube Negra.
Torpillo, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, was impressive on his chasing debut at Warwick, where he accounted for the classy Mister Fisher. The other remaining possibles are Esprit Du Large and the Ruth Jefferson-trained Return Ticket.