Big Buck's will have just three rivals as he seeks to win the Sportingbet Long Distance Hurdle for the fourth year running at Newbury on Saturday.
Paul Nicholls's brilliant stayer is unbeaten in 17 races since he returned to hurdles after unseating Sam Thomas in the Hennessy at the Berkshire track in 2008.
Big Buck's stablemate Five Dream, who took the runner-up spot 12 months ago, tries again, while the Emma Lavelle-trained Fox Appeal and Reve De Sivola from Nick Williams' stable are the only other ones taking on the champion staying hurdler.
Andy Stewart, owner of Big Buck's, cannot wait to see his superstar back in action.
"We're looking forward to it. Ruby (Walsh) tells me he's never been better and Paul (Nicholls) tells me he's never been better, so there'll be no excuses," he said.
"The ground will be heavy and horrible after a couple of nights of frost, but we'll have to live with that. I don't know if there'll be much pace on, either, but I'd imagine Five Dream might go a good pace for the first two miles.
"As long as he doesn't fluff his lines on Saturday he'll be going back to Ascot for the Long Walk."
Reve De Sivola has been sidelined by injury since finishing third to The Minack over fences at Ascot last December.
"He's come back from a leg injury. We hope he's recovered well. We'd have the injury monitored closely with the vet and he's ready to go," owner Paul Duffy said of the Nick Williams-trained seven-year-old.
"We thought this would give him an introduction back. He'll be trying, but obviously there is one horse in there (Big Buck's) and then the rest. Realistically, if he runs into a place we'll be very happy."
23 July 2014Midgley delivers Silva service
Trainer caught up in morphine case
Lyons takes aim at Tyros double
Sunset shines for Her Majesty
Feed company launches investigation
Raydara facing Flash test
Prize boost for Newmarket heats
Toast team offer American excuse
Field pitch perfect for Ascot raid
Galway on Panama agenda
Panther sidesteps George date
Toast team offer American excuse
Gosden team among Leger entries
Hughes' duo primed for Plate
Cooper hearing concludes
Goodwood target for Tropics
Edison set for Galway glory bid
Ferguson plotting Galway raid
Queen's Estimate tests positive
Moonlight shines at Musselburgh
Taghrooda could go off favourite
Signal pointed at Phoenix
Course specialist in Ascot return
Bary plots Arc route for Spiritjim
Charlton weighs up Kazeem options
Varian seeking York glory
High hopes for Odeliz
22 July 2014Strangeway targets Galway riches
Grade One status for Mares' event
Halford retains Certerach faith
HRI unveil 2015 plans
Buick on Ascot weather watch
Minella to take Plate test
Scudamore banned for course blunder
Toscanini team mull options
Faydhan team in no rush
Fast Kaar given Dewhurst target
Pique Sous confirmed for Galway
Hannon team cool on Nunthorpe bid
Channon excited by Amralah progress
Haggas expects Hanagan to ride Tag
21 July 2014Ebor the Clever choice for Cookie
Deauville mission for Fiesolana
Chicquita in Yorkshire Oaks frame
Magical Moore shines again
Kool result for Hannon
Guest considers Memory options
Euro stays with Botti
Ascot on Moohaarib agenda
Injury blow for Boistron team
Encke set for Glorious return
No hurry for Tiggy target
No rush for East aim
20 July 2014Sous heads Galway Hurdle betting
McCoy savours overtaking Pipe
Bracelet glitters in Irish Oaks
Whittington pounces in Anglesey
Music masters Hackwood rivals
Dazzling Tiggy in Nunthorpe frame
Gutsy Ansgar makes all
India too hot in Curragh opener
Fourth for Kazeem on return
Kosika crushes Newbury rivals