Theatrical Moment, the other 7/1 joint-favourite at Skybet, could be seeking a hat-trick of wins following a pair of successes at Leicester before Christmas for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, while the Victor Dartnall-trained Exmoor Ranger (8/1) won a Newbury handicap chase in November.
County Durham trainer Howard Johnson could saddle last season’s Grade Two-winning novice Killyglen (16/1), while North Yorkshire-based Ferdy Murphy has entered William Hill Trophy runner-up New Alco (20/1).
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has three acceptors. Kicks For Free (18/1) and Tatenen (14/1) were second and third, respectively, behind Seven Is My Number at Sandown in December. They could be joined by stable mate Nozic.
The Henrietta Knight-trained Calgary Bay (14/1) is the current top-weight with 11st 12lb. The seven-year-old held the Henry Daly-trained Alderburn to win a handicap chase over the course and distance on December 12.
Others to note include Ouzbeck, From Dawn To Dusk, Trabolgan, Far More Serious, Battlecry, Nenuphar Collonges and Khachaturian. A maximum of 22 runners can line up on Saturday.