Jessica Harrington’s 11-year-old will be bidding to get back on track in the Grade One feature after tasting defeat over fences on his last two outings.
Moscow Flyer was beaten on his seasonal debut at Navan in November and was forced to miss the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown after he was found to have a lung infection a week before the race but is reported to be back in full health now
He could lock horns with Rathgar Beau and Central House who have beaten him this year.
Central House was last seen beating Rathgar Beau in the Hilly Way Chase with Mariah Rollins finishing third and Pat Fahy’s mare could reoppose.
Ned Kelly is the sole entry for Edward O’Grady after finishing fourth to Hi Cloy, who could also run, in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase earlier this month.
Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King appears among the entries but is expected to take his place at Sandown the previous day in his quest to win back-to-back King George VI Chases.
Watson Lake, trained by Noel Meade, Willie Mullins’ Mossy Green, the Mouse Morris-trained Fota Island and Michael O’Brien’s Commonchero complete the field.
Seventeen entries are left in for the €100,000 Durkan New Homes Novice Chase, the feature on day one.
Unbeaten on his only two outings to date over fences, the Eamon Sheehy trained Justified is likely to start favourite after an impressive win at Punchestown last time out while the recent Drinmore Chase winner, Kill Devil Hill, is also still engaged. Arthur Moore has a good record in this race and his Mansony is bound to be a strong fancy while Noel Meade will be hoping that Wild Passion can make amends for the disappointment of seeing his Sir Oj fall at the last fence when in a clear lead in this race 12 months ago.
The Thierry Doumen trained Foreman, winner of the 2004 AIG Europe Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and runner up in the Baileys Arkle Cup over the same course last February, is the only overseas entry in a race in which Arteea, Doctor Linton, McGruders Cross and Missed That are other possible runners.
Forty horses remain in the 190,000 Paddy Power Handicap Chase on December 27, with all the leading fancies standing their ground. The Arthur Moore trained Jaquouille, second to Keepatem in the race last year, is a general 6/1 favourite to go one better this time, with recent Troytown Chase winner, Prince Of Tara, next best at 10/1. A hugely competitive race is in store, with A New Story, Lost Time, Knock Knock and last year’s Irish National winner, Numbersixvalverde, also bound to figure.