Buveur D’Air can join the greats by defending his crown in the Unibet Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Hardy Eustace was the last to retain the title back in 2005 and while others have tried since then, none have been successful.
Trainer Nicky Henderson can also take the honours in the Ultima Handicap Chase with Gold Present, who has won both his starts this season in likeable fashion.
Another hotpot who can live up to expectations is Footpad in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy.
Getabird can strike for the Mullins team in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle that brings the curtain up on the four-day bonanza.
Apple’s Jade is the undoubted class act in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle as she bids to repeat last year’s success.
Anthony Honeyball’s Ms Parfois is fancied to outstay the opposition in the National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novice Chase, while the Nick Williams-trained Le Rocher could run a big race in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase.
At Sedgefield, Instant Replay can win for the third time this season at the Durham track by taking the bookies.com Cheltenham Free Bets Chase for trainer Brian Elllison.
On the all-weather, Crosse Fire looks set to defy a 6lb penalty in the Betway Cheltenham First & Last Race Losers Moneyback Handicap at Southwell, with Deansgate expected to defy a career-high mark in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap at Newcastle.
Newcastle: 5.45 Indian Red, 6.15 Lumi, 6.45 Dowticher, 7.15 Nick Vedder, 7.45 Odds On Oli, 8.15 Deansgate, 8.45 Hisar.
Sedgefield: 1.20 Randy Pike, 1.55 Birch Vale, 2.35 Mr Lando, 3.15 Lubatic, 3.55 Instant Replay, 4.35 Take A Break, 5.10 Peters Cousin.
Southwell: 1.10 African Trader, 1.45 Best Tamayuz, 2.25 Epitaph, 3.05 Crosse Fire, 3.45 Haddaf, 4.25 Kingstreet Lady, 5.00 Reason To Believe.
Cheltenham: 1.30 Getabird, 2.10 Footpad, 2.50 GOLD PRESENT (NAP). 3.30 Buveur D’Air, 4.10 Apple’s Jade, 4.50 Ms Parfois, 5.30 Le Rocher.