Stable companions Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname are two of nine runners declared for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Clan Des Obeaux proved much too strong for Cyrname when successfully defending his crown in the Kempton showpiece 12 months ago and is on course to complete the hat-trick under Sam Twiston-Davies.
However, Cyrname looked back to his best when making an impressive start to the current campaign in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and appears set to make more of a race of it for the rematch. As last year, Harry Cobden takes the ride.
Frodon (Bryony Frost) and Real Steel (Daryl Jacob) complete a four-pronged assault for trainer Paul Nicholls as he bids to add to his record haul of 11 King George victories.
Nicky Henderson is represented by Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini (Nico de Boinville), who was a surprise addition to the race after being supplemented on Monday.
The Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation (Robbie Power) failed to fire in last year’s King George and again has something to prove, after finishing a well-beaten third in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.
Ruth Jefferson’s long-absent stable star Waiting Patiently (Brian Hughes), Tom George’s Black Op (Tom Scudamore) and Saint Calvados (Gavin Sheehan) from Harry Whittington’s yard complete the field.
The only horse not declared was Henry de Bromhead’s Monalee, who is unable to make the journey to Kempton due to the updated travel restrictions in place between Britain and Ireland.