Dessie Hughes insists there is nothing between his two Topaz Novice Chase runners, but feels they both have their work cut out against Back In Focus at Leopardstown.
Lyreen Legend was only four lengths behind the Willie Mullins-trained Back In Focus last time out and Hughes hopes his inmate can get even closer.
"He ran very well the last day and he might even improve again. He doesn't mind the ground, he gets through it when it's like this," the County Kildare handler said.
"Tofino Bay likes the ground, too. He ended up last season rated 144 over hurdles so he was entitled to be a good chaser. He's taken to it well and there's nothing between my two, but I think they'll all have to go some to beat Willie's - he's the one to beat."
Andrew Lynch rides Aupcharlie, third in the Cheltenham Bumper in 2011 and impressive on his chasing debut at Gowran last month.
"He jumped and travelled well in Gowran the last day, I was very happy with him. He was a bit of a disappointing horse last year, but seems to have improved a lot this season. Hopefully he can go there and give a good account of himself," said Lynch.
Peter Fahey is hoping the step up in trip will enable Pride Of The Artic return to winning ways after finishing fourth behind Arvika Ligeonniere in the Drinmore.
"I expect him to run a very good race. He likes to get his own way up front and he couldn't last time against Arvika Ligeonniere. The step up in trip will suit and he's got blinkers back on, he won in them over hurdles," said Fahey.
"This looks a red-hot race, it will really sort out the novices and we'll know more after this. If he gets his own way he'll run well, he just sulked last time."
5 December 2013Three-month ban for Arnold
Contrite Butler must 'rebuild life'
Nicholls watching ground for Roque
Topper tests Future waters
Rasen survives wind scare
Murphy hit by nine-day ban
Festival switch for Mares' race
Big field for Becher
Sacre forced out of Sandown return
Sacre out of Tingle Creek
No luck for Jwala in Sprint draw
Cadeaux team enjoying the ride
Aigles well ahead of fourth Cup bid
Lantern burning bright once more
Rasen to check on wind
Butler considers ban response
Court team eyeing Huntingdon return
Oscar on course for Cheltenham
Cantlow in Cheltenham frame
Juddmonte "not for sale"
Noseda content with Grand journey
Cloud future hinges on Mile outcome
Road charts route towards Becher
Knight backs Somersby to shine
4 December 2013Butler handed five-year ban
Rain key to Azorian Navan bid
Greatrex ponders Baby gameplan
Pipe tinkers with Crus schedule
Fahy eyes Morning glory in Topaz
Verse goes for a song at Tatts
King brings up personal milestone
King issues bleak Invictus update
Tatenen chasing December gold
Rocky revved up for Lexus
Sir and Star set for Durkan date
Sandown heat attracts novice stars
Bolster aiming for confidence boost
Hill faces Becher test
3 December 2013British pair head Power weights
Sea sidesteps Exeter date
Madison Du Berlais dies of colic
Huxley retired from the saddle
Lynam hoping for winning Power
Mullins maps Sceaux plan
Wrist injury sidelines Dalton
Bob on World trail
Sacre a doubt for Tingle Creek
Europe sets sail for Leopardstown
Mullins banks on Hurricane progress
Stellar turnout for Lexus
Wishfull heads Sefton contenders
Junior at Becher summit
Fenton big-hitters near return
Tank team consider options
2 December 2013Ferguson swoops for Dancing Rain
Briar camp look to the Future
Super Sprinter set for Sandown
Super puzzle for McCain
Topper to take Sandown test
The Fugue "one to beat" in HK
Persad takes charity challenge
Seek claims Hollywood glory
Jezki strikes in Hatton's Grace
Don delivers in Drinmore
Tank takes Bond thriller
Analifet stakes Triumph claim
Culloty expects Lord progress
Curtis keeps faith in Fishers
Apache set for Navan test
Lexus aim for Lieutenant
King maps out Sandown plan