Defending champion Big Buck’s is one of 24 possibles for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 18 following the latest forfeit stage.
The Paul Nicholls-trained star is odds-on to land back-to-back victories after showing he is as good as ever with wins in the Long Distance Hurdle and Long Walk Hurdle this winter.
Tidal Bay, the 2008 Arkle hero, made a triumphant return to the smaller obstacles in the Cleeve Hurdle and could be the successor to Inglis Drever for the Graham Wylie/Howard Johnson team.
Other hopefuls include Alan King’s Karabak and Sentry Duty from the Nicky Henderson stable.
Pick of eight Irish possibles is the Mouse Morris-trained War Of Attrition, winner of the Gold Cup in 2006.
Among 11 horses taken out were Diamond Harry, who is to be aimed at the RSA Chase.