Unibet Champion Hurdle hope Defi Du Seuil headlines seven entries revealed today for the £35,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.35pm) at Cheltenham on day two of The Showcase, Saturday, October 28.
The J P McManus-owned Defi Du Seuil, trained by Philip Hobbs in Somerset, was unbeaten in seven races last season, culminating with G1 triumphs in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival and the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival.
His 100 per cent record at Cheltenham from four starts also includes impressive G2 triumphs in November and on Festival Trials Day in January.
Saturday's opposition in the two-mile contest for four-year-olds is set to include Bedrock (Dan Skelton), who was far from disgraced on his second start over hurdles when third behind Defi Du Seuil at Aintree.
Bedrock has since recorded wide-margin victories at Warwick in May and Bangor on October 4.
Irish challenger Twobeelucky (Henry de Bromhead IRE), successful on two of his three starts over hurdles, is also engaged, along with Golden Jeffrey (Iain Jardine), who scored by 15 lengths at Perth on his latest start over hurdles.
The Masterson Holdings Hurdle entries are completed by two-time hurdle victor Arthington (Seamus Mullins), Dino Velvet (Alan King) and Templier (Gary Moore).
Exciting second season chaser Singlefarmpayment (Tom George) could make his seasonal reappearance in the £50,000 randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase (2.00pm, 25 entries) over three miles and a furlong on Saturday.
The progressive six-year-old captured a novices' chase in good style at The International in December and ended the campaign with an agonising defeat in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at The Festival, when going down a short-head to Un Temps Pour Tout.
His trainer, the Slad-based Tom George, said today: "Singlefarmpayment is entered at Cheltenham on Saturday and it is possible he will start off there, although nothing is concrete at this stage.
"He came back from his summer break looking good and we are happy with him at the moment. We said we will take each step as it comes this season, depending on how the horse is, and see where we go.
"He progressed well last season and it will be interesting to see if he can carry that on this season."
Coologue (Charlie Longsdon) is set to bid for back-to-back victories in the randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase and the entries also feature the Colin Tizzard-trained pair of Viconte Du Noyer and Robinsfirth, plus likely top-weight Perfect Candidate (Fergal O'Brien) and in-form summer jumpers Braqueur d'Or (Paul Nicholls) and Sonneofpresenting (Kim Bailey).
Another highlight on the card is the £50,000 Randox Health Handicap Chase (3.10pm, 20 entries) over two miles. Star chaser Fox Norton was an emphatic 11-length winner of this contest 12 months ago and subsequently finished second in the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival before going on to G1 triumphs at Aintree and Punchestown.
The 20 entries for this year's renewal include 158-rated chaser Vaniteux, who has moved from Nicky Henderson to David Pipe, last season's G2 Racing Post Arkle Trial victor Le Prezien (Paul Nicholls) plus Double W's (Malcolm Jefferson) and Theinval (Nicky Henderson), who were first and second in the G3 Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree's Grand National Festival in April.
Cheltenham's seven-race programme on Saturday starts at 2.00pm and finishes at 5.30pm.
The going at Cheltenham is currently Good.
The Showcase, which opens Cheltenham's new season, commences with another fascinating seven-race card on Friday, October 27.
As well as all the action on the track, racegoers will also be able to get behind the scenes of "The Sport of Kings" at The Showcase. There will be guided tours of the Parade Ring and Weighing Room before racing, as well as various activities and displays about the sport.
Tours will take place approximately every half an hour, starting from The Plaza, once gates have opened, up until half an hour before the first race.
The Showcase Food & Drink Zone, staged for the first time in 2014, returns to The Centaur to demonstrate all that is great about the food and drinks producers of the Cotswolds.
The racecourse sits in the heart of the Cotswolds and there are many amazing elements of the region that will be celebrated in The Showcase Food & Drink Zone.
Stands include those from local companies such as Pie And Might Pies, The Old Chapel Fudge Company and Severn Cider.