Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai will do battle again at the end of the month in the Betfair Chase at Haydock with the Grade One event looking set to be a cracker.
The top two in the race last year are amongst the 10 entries for the first Grade One of the jumps season in England with both horses set to have their first runs of the season in the event.
Bristol De Mai claimed the Grade One prize in both 2017 and 2018 and when going for the hat-trick last term was only seen off close home by the Cheltenham Gold Cup third Lostintranslation.
The pair are set to do battle at Haydock and all being well will then head to the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Joining them in the Betfair Chase could be the Gold Cup second Santini, who has been tipped to have a superb season off the back of his late Charge in the Cheltenham feature last March.
Paul Nicholls could be double handed in the race with dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux and long absentee Topofthegame, but the latter is expected to start his season in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury a week later.
(Credit ATR) Nicholls said: “Clan Des Obeaux is in great form at home and will head for the Betfair Chase.
“Physically, he seems to have improved on years past. He is working hard and is on well schedule for Haydock.
“Two years ago, we went to the Betfair Chase just to put our toe in the water to see if he could run in graded races and he ran a really good race. He then went on to win the King George.
“He will be ready to put up a good performance at Haydock – there is no point going there thinking he is going to need the run. He will be ready and then that is nice timing for him to go to Kempton again on Boxing Day.”
Lord Du Mensil (Richard Hobson), Bellshill (Sandy Thompson), Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex) and Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington) are the other British contenders in the current entries for the race with only one current Irish raider coming from Henry De Bromhead with Cheltenham festival winner A Plus Tard.