Sprinter Sacre is set to face six rivals in Saturday's Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot, if the meeting survives a 4.30pm precautionary inspection on Friday.
Nicky Henderson has described the gelding as his "big black aeroplane" and the seven-year-old is unbeaten in his six starts over fences. In his sole outing so far this season, he dished out a 19-and-a-half-length beating to Sanctuaire, who was thought to be the only two-miler capable of giving him a race.
Paul Nicholls has decided to pitch Sanctuaire against his old rival again after he returned to winning ways at Kempton over Christmas.
Last year's winner Somersby is due to have his first start for Mick Channon, while Alan King's Kumbeshwar finished second in the Tingle Creek to Sprinter Sacre and is chasing more prize money. Philip Hobbs runs Wishfull Thinking, and the Venetia Williams-trained Idarah and Tony Carroll's Kinkeel complete the field.
Frost covers have been down at Ascot since last weekend but snow is forecast which makes their removal very difficult.
Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said: "It got down to minus 4C last night and is not due to get above freezing today and there are some signs of frost under the covers. I'm pretty confident we could race today but could not be certain unless I lifted the covers right off and I don't plan on doing that.
"It is due to remain cold, although maybe not minus 4C again. Snow is forecast for Friday afternoon and evening, so it makes senses to have a precautionary look on Friday when we'll have a good look under the covers and we'll be able to assess the snow situation."
12 March 2014Mullins succumbs to Hercules pull
Faugheen chasing Neptune glory
Mullins sweet on Ballycasey
Arvika primed for Champion assault
Conan has Sire in his sights
Injured Maguire making progress
Six of the best for magical Quevega
Henderson hails Harrington win
Classy Conor loses life
Jet-propelled Jezki takes Champion
11 March 2014Present and correct for Snowden
Midnight express steams to NH glory
Holywell repeats Festival dose
Warhorse wins Arkle battle
Vautour storms to Supreme success
No track worries for Sire team
Mullins to field three in JLT
Ferof features in Ryanair dozen
Leading duo top World field
Last and First in Gold frame
Injured Maguire out of Festival
Judgement day beckons for Fly
Curtis wants Scholfield for Tea
Que takes aim at Festival landmark
Irving strives to rule Supreme
Champagne in sparkling form
Sire spearheads Queen Mother entry
Confidence behind Conor
Special One bids for Champion glory
10 March 2014Maguire airlifted to hospital
Clouds lined up for RSA
Gold hopes fading for Topper
Ruby ready to Rock
Suspensory problem sidelines Chris
Mullins 'very happy' with Fly
Cooper raring to go after fall
National glee for supersub Mullins
Francome fancies New One revenge
Quinn targets another Triumph
Buck's primed for World title bid
Cheltenham team monitor ground
Fenton delays Instalment call
Activial to duck Festival mission
Hope springs eternal for Encore
Fab Fly takes on eight in Champion
9 March 2014Fall leaves Cooper 'badly winded'
Cooper warms up with double
Cooper warms up with double
Avenue roads lead to Irish Oaks
Dude's the main man
Top trainers reject watering
Hinterland takes Champion test
Baltimore sets up bonus bid
Warrior wins Trial battle
Fallon hits Meydan heights
Chartreux bounces back to best
Brave Vic has Final word
Soumillon strikes on super Shea
On His Own joins Gold Cup field