Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
A quality field of 15, including the last two winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, remain in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.
Nicky Henderson's Bobs Worth, winner of the Lexus 12 months ago, is on course to make his seasonal debut in the Grade One.
He is likely to clash with Lord Windermere, the reigning Gold Cup hero who made an encouraging reappearance over a trip short of his best in the John Durkan at Punchestown.
Bobs Worth's partner Barry Geraghty admits it is not ideal heading into the race without the aid of a prep-run.
"He's shaping up well," said the jockey.
"Ideally you'd have liked to have had a run under your belt but it wasn't to be."
Another horse due to travel from England is Sam Winner, successful in both of his races this season.
"He's on the fringe of Gold Cup class," trainer Paul Nicholls told Racing UK.
"The only thing is that he has to go left-handed, but that works for Leopardstown."
Jonjo O'Neill's Holywell is another who may make the journey across the Irish Sea.
As well as Lord Windermere, the home defence is headed by Don Cossack, a revelation this season for Gordon Elliott.
Willie Mullins has left in Champagne Fever, but he is being aimed at the King George at Kempton.
The Closutton handler is instead likely to rely upon Boston Bob and On His Own.
Road To Riches, Carlingford Lough, last season's runner-up First Lieutenant, Texas Jack and Home Farm are also in the mix.