Quite how many will line up, though, is still unclear as the likes of Don Cossack, Vautour and Valseur Lido who are all engaged in Ireland are expected to head to Kempton for the William Hill King George VI Chase.
Don Cossack and Valseur Lido are owned by Gigginstown House Stud who are still able to call upon last year’s winner Road To Riches, trained by Noel Meade, and Sir Des Champs.
Sir Des Champs is trained by Willie Mullins, as is Vautour, and he has also left in Djakadam, On His Own and Don Poli.
Carlingford Lough could return to fences, with Foxrock, First Lieutenant, Grand Jesture, Home Farm and Roi Du Mee all in the mix.
Faugheen spearheads nine possible runners in the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
The reigning champion hurdler, trained by Willie Mullins, lost his unbeaten record in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November but is likely to be a short price to gain redemption.
Faugheen could be joined in the line-up by stablemates Arctic Fire and Nichols Canyon, the surprise winner of the Morgiana.
Sam Twiston-Davies would have a big decision to make if Old Guard (Paul Nicholls) and The New One (Nigel Twiston-Davies) are both declared for the race.
Nicholls said the former’s participation is subject to a “strong piece of work” in the build-up to the race, but would not stop in the jockey’s way if he chooses to ride The New One, who is trained by his father.
He told Racing UK: “It’s a decision Sam has to make. We’ll weigh up everything, he’ll have a chat with his dad and see what he (Sam Twiston-Davies) wants to do.”
- Tony McCoy picked up the 25th and final Lester of his illustrious career at a star-studded night at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
McCoy, who on Sunday was presented with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement award in Belfast, won the Jumps Jockey of the Year trophy and the ARC Jump Jockey Special Recognition prize.As a thank you from the Professional Jockeys Association for all he has done for racing and his commitment over many years, the PJA commissioned Philip Blacker, the renowned sculptor and former jockey who designed the Lester, to sculpt a one-off solid silver Lester in McCoy’s likeness.