Last season’s Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth and last year’s winner of the Betfair Chase Silviniaco Conti are the headline acts among the 16 entries for this year’s renewal of the Haydock showpiece.
The ninth running of the �200,000 prize has attracted nearly all of the leading staying chasers in training, with Nicky Henderson’s Cheltenham winner currently at the top of the tree.
He could be joined by his stablemate Long Run, although he disappointed on his seasonal return at Wetherby on Saturday in the Charlie Hall Chase.
Silviniaco Conti won the Charlie Hall and the Betfair last season, as well as the Denman Chase at Newbury, but fell when he was still going well in the Gold Cup and was beaten into third at Aintree.
Mouse Morris’ First Lieutenant won the Aintree race, and he is also in the mix for this but will need to put a rare below-par display at Down Royal behind him. Other Irish entries include Gordon Elliott’s prolific winner Roi Du Mee and Willie Mullins’ Prince De Beauchene.
Kim Bailey’s Charlie Hall winner Harry Topper is engaged, along with David Pipe’s Dynaste, a leading novice from last year.
The enigmatic Tidal Bay, who won the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby for the second successive year on Saturday, may revert back to fences, while Cape Tribulation and Wayward Prince are also entered.
Former Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander, the winner of this race in 2010, and Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster add further strength in depth, while Sue Smith’s pair Cloudy Too and Mr Moonshine complete the entries.Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines