Cue Card and Thistlecrack are among just seven horses confirmed for the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton.
The Colin Tizzard-trained pair are set to lock horns in the Boxing Day feature after connections of star novice Thistlecrack confirmed he will take on his esteemed stable companion and last year’s King George hero Cue Card.
Last season’s all-conquering staying hurdler Thistlecrack is unbeaten in three starts over fences, completing his hat-trick in fine style at Newbury last month, and is set to bid for King George glory instead of taking the easier option of running in the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase – better known as the Feltham – on the same afternoon.
Cue Card looked better than ever when winning his third Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.
Paul Nicholls has left in dual King George hero Silviniaco Conti, while last year’s Feltham winner Tea For Two has been confirmed by Nick Williams.
Josses Hill has been supplemented by Nicky Henderson following his comfortable victory over Tea For Two in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon at the start of the month.
The Irish-trained pair of Noel Meade’s Road To Riches and Gordon Elliott’s Roi Des Francs, both of whom are owned by Gigginstown House Stud, complete the acceptors.