Captain Conan tops a total of just five runners for Saturday's Markel Insurance Henry VIII Chase at Sandown.
- Related Content
Donald McCain's Overturn would have been a leading fancy for the race but the likelihood of testing going has seen him sidestep the Grade One event.
That leaves Nicky Henderson's Captain Conan as the star name following his debut victory over fences at Cheltenham.
Captain Conan's jockey Barry Geraghty believes the five-year-old is on the upgrade.
"Captain Conan seems really well. He had a nice run at Cheltenham and he didn't have too hard a time," the Irishman told At The Races.
"He handled the ground well and should improve for the run. I think he has improved as well from last year. He had good form then when second to Darlan at Aintree. He's a high-class horse in his own right."
Act Of Kalanisi got off the mark over fences in good style at Leicester three weeks ago and trainer Dr Richard Newland is hoping the six-year-old can cope with the step up in class.
"He's in good form, but obviously he's got a bit to find on official ratings," said the Worcester handler.
"He took his race well last time, hopefully he will give a good account of himself and we'll know where we are after the race.
"He's run well there in the past over hurdles so the track should suit. Hopefully he'll get a nice, clear round."
Paul Nicholls' Hinterland is another noteworthy contender, while Escort'men and the well-regarded Third Intention complete the line-up.
McCain reports the absent Overturn in excellent form, but his options are limited in the immediate future and much will depend on the state of the ground.
"I haven't really got a plan at the moment. The horse is very well, he breezed up beautifully this morning with the intention of running tomorrow," McCain said.
"He's in good nick but it's hard to find a race for him.
"You look in the programme book and there are only three novice chases over two miles before Christmas so he will be in all of those and we will see what happens with the ground.
"Kempton at Christmas would certainly be an option, but I don't really want to wait that long."