Irish challenger Al Eile heads 36 horses confirmed for Saturday’s totesport Trophy at Newbury.
John Queally’s charge, third behind compatriot Essex 12 months ago, enhanced his prospects with victory in Haydock’s Champion Hurdle Trial recently.
Placed off 11st last year, he is lumbered with top weight of 11st 12lb in the £125,000 (€183,000) handicap hurdle this time.
All the leading fancies in the ante-post market have stood their ground including another Irish hopeful, Studmaster.
However, Jessica Harrington’s Pierse Hurdle winner is not guaranteed a run in a maximum 27-runner line-up. He needs several horses to come out despite incurring a 4lb penalty for his Leopardstown success.
There are three other Irish possibles – Tom Foley’s Royal Paradise, Noel Meade’s Arch Rebel and Escrea from Paul Nolan’s stable.
Acambo is among Martin Pipe’s team of six despite finishing only fifth behind Crow Wood at Musselburgh yesterday.
The champion trainer has also left in Desert Air, Buena Vista, Fontanesi, Nous Voila and Miss Academy.
Paul Nicholls has left in Noland and Natal, while Alan King is also double-handed with Penzance and Mughas.
Other interesting acceptors include Jonjo O’Neill’s pair Intersky Falcon and Cherub, Howard Johnson’s Akilak and the Venetia Williams-trained Chief Yeoman.