Last season’s Tolworth Hurdle winner missed the big Festivals in the spring, but appeared better than ever when successful on his return to action in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton earlier this month.
Trainer Jeremy Scott had considered running him in the bet365 Intermediate Hurdle – better known as the Gerry Feilden – at Newbury on Thursday, but Melodic Rendezvouz will instead head to Gosforth Park for an intriguing clash with My Tent Or Yours.
“I’d say he’s 95% likely to run at Newcastle and Nick Scholfield will ride,” said Scott.
“He’s in good form and this race was the main plan since Wincanton.”
Melodic Rendezvous and My Tent Or Yours are the two star names among 12 possible runners.
Nicky Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours won four of his six starts over hurdles as a novice last season, with a scintillating display in the Betfair Hurdle the clear highlight of his campaign.
John Ferguson’s Cotton Mill was fourth behind Melodic Rendezvous in the Elite Hurdle and could renew rivalry.
Ferguson told At The Races: “Cotton Mill is getting older and wiser.
“When he was a novice he showed some serious pace. He looked like he might give Simonsig a race in the Neptune and ran through the wing.”
Alan King’s Grumeti is set to make his return, while Nicky Richards could saddle the talented Duke Of Navan.
John Quinn’s Cockney Sparrow and the Oliver Sherwood-trained Puffin Billy also feature at the latest forfeit stage.