Kauto Star set for Down Royal
Kauto Star heads a team of nine English possibiles among 25 entries for next month’s Jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Paul Nicholls' inmate strolled away with the event last year before lifting the King George and the Gold Cup and he could start out again this season at the Lisburn course on November 7.
The trainer has also entered his 2007 winner Taranis, who has been a long-term absentee, as well as My Will.
Roll Along, now with Nigel-Twiston Davies, is another in the reckoning, plus The Listener, Joe Lively, Albertas Run, Darkness and Money Trix.
Among the home team is another former Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition and Jim Dreaper's Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup hero Notre Pere, as well as Willie Mullins' Snowy Morning.
Meanwhile, Tidal Bay and Nacarat head a host of star names entered for Saturday's Old Roan Chase at Aintree.
Two seasons ago Tidal Bay was a star novice but, while he remains a top class performer when on his best behaviour, last season did not fulfil the high hopes held for him, failing to win in five starts after a pipe-opener at Carlisle.
But since then the eight-year-old has undergone surgery to help his breathing, which trainer Howard Johnson hopes will do the trick.
Racing Post Chase winner and Melling Chase third Nacarat is the highest rated horse in the field and one of two possible runners for Tom George, who also has the smart novice Tartak in the shake-up.
Last year's scorer Knowhere is joined by popular grey Monet's Garden, who inflicted a rare defeat on Kauto Star back in 2007.
Don't Push It, Finger Onthe Pulse, Oslot, Kicks For Free and Tamarinbleu are other interesting names involved.