Salsify leads Foxhunter field
Dual winner Salsify heads a formidable Irish contingent among 45 entries for the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 10-year-old clinched the prestigious event in 2012 and 2013 for the father-son combination of Rodger and Colman Sweeney and although he missed a hat-trick bid 12 months ago through injury, he is set to return to Prestbury Park having finished fourth on his comeback run at Leopardstown earlier this month.
The Enda Bolger-trained On The Fringe was third 12 months ago and fourth back in 2011.
He appears a major player once more having pushed Prince De Beauchene, who does not qualify for Cheltenham, all the way at Leopardstown last time.
Adrian Maguire has entered Seventh Sign and Two Rockers, while Gordon Elliott's Current Exchange is also among the Irish challenge.
Heading the home team for the £40,000 contest on Gold Cup day is Paint The Clouds, who has been a revelation since switching to hunter chases for Warren Greatrex, registering four straight victories under Sam Waley-Cohen.
Palypso De Creek (Mike Dawson) has been prolific in hunter chases, winning five times including at Leicester on Tuesday.