Willie Mullins' mount On His Own heads the weight for the Gold Cup Chase
The Willie Mullins-trained On His Own heads the weights for the bet365 Gold Cup Chase at Sandown on Saturday after 40 possibles remained in contention.
The 11-year-old will have to carry the welter burden of 11st 12lb which was carried to victory by Tidal Bay, who was also owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, in 2012.
On His Own is a very smart performer, having finished second in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup, and is fresh from winning a Grade Three chase at Cork earlier this month.
Mullins took out his other entry, Perfect Gentleman, but other Irish-trained representatives are First Lieutenant, Grand Jesture, Vics Canvas, Pass The Hat, Guess Again and Heathfield.
However, Tony Martin has not confirmed the JP McManus-owned Gallant Oscar, who was a late withdrawal from the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr at the weekend.
Ante-post favourite, the Lucy Wadham-trained Le Reve, has stood his ground, as have Warren Greatrex's Paint The Clouds and the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth.
Paul Nicholls, who has won this race with Tidal Bay and also Ad Hoc in 2003, has left in Grand National also-rans Rocky Creek and Unioniste plus Wonderful Charm and Just A Par.
The Ditcheat handler told www.paulnichollsracing.com: "Unioniste could well run if they keep watering and the ground is good or easier.
"Rocky Creek is 50-50 at this stage, Just A Par could well run and Wonderful Charm is another possible after his fine effort the other day at Aintree."
David Pipe has a strong contender in The Package, winner of the Kim Muir at Cheltenham but a denied a place in the Grand National.
"It was a shame that he narrowly missed the cut for the Grand National, although it does mean that he goes to Sandown a relatively fresh horse and he will appreciate the sound surface," the Nicholashayne trainer told www.davidpipe.com.
Philip Hobbs is mob-handed with 2012 runner-up Roalco De Farges, Return Spring, Aintree winner Duke Of Lucca and Bertie Boru.
Others in the mix include Across The Bay, Bally Legend, Lost Legend and Royale Knight.