A total of just 16 possible rivals stand between Big Buck’s and a record fourth successive victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Big Buck’s has made the three-mile contest his own in recent seasons and will be seeking a 16th straight victory over hurdles as he lines up on the third day of the Festival.
Trainer Paul Nicholls also has Five Dream and King Of The Night in the line up but Big Buck’s main rival appears to be the Nicky Henderson-trained Oscar Whisky.
He was placed in the Champion Hurdle last year but has made a seamless switch to longer trip this term, although this will be his first try at three miles.
David Pipe’s Dynaste has chased home Big Buck’s on his last two starts and he tries his luck once again.
Willie Mullins has a strong team headed by Zaidpour, who is unbeaten in four starts this term, along with Mikael d’Haguenet, Mourad, So Young, Thousand Stars and Quevega, although the latter two appear to have other more likely options.
Voler La Vedette could represent Colm Murphy while Gordon Elliott’s Carlito Brigante is another Irish entry.
Alan King has Smad Place still in the possibles while Cross Kennon, Featherbed Lane and Saphir River complete the list.