Trainer David Pipe insists only time will tell if Katkeau has been let in lightly by the handicapper as he makes his British debut in the Betfair-sponsored "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
The master of Pond House has saddled Grands Crus and Dynaste to win this valuable prize for the last two years, so it is no surprise bookmakers have taken no chances and installed this latest French recruit as favourite.
Pipe said: "Both horses are having their first run for me and I think they both go their with good chances as they are at the right end of the weights."
He added: "Katkeau has obviously come over from France and, on his French form, you would have to think he'll love the ground. I'm happy with him at home and I think he has an OK mark (124), but obviously we'll find out for sure on Saturday.
"Knight Pass has never run on ground like this before so that has to be a concern. Tom (Scudamore) rode both horses at home and had a difficult choice to make, but decided to go with Knight Pass. He's a horse who has always promised a lot, without fully delivering."
Saphir River is an interesting runner for Lucinda Russell.
The six-year-old hinted at ability in three starts for Michael Scudamore last season and won a beginners' chase at Uttoxeter on his debut for new connections.
Russell said: "He's better on soft and heavy ground. He's an amazing horse, you hardly see him move on it. Any rain doesn't really worry us.
"He's got good form previously. He was second, just beaten in the French Champion Hurdle, on very heavy ground so if he can repeat that form he could go quite close.
"We had to do something with him before this race so we thought chasing was a good idea. He jumped well and we were quite pleased with him, so hopefully he will be OK."
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