Zarkandar attempts to boost his strong claims for the Stan James Champion Hurdle when he lines up at Wincanton.
The second favourite for next month's Festival showpiece has this term won the Elite Hurdle on this track and the International Hurdle at Cheltenham. He has his final race before the big one when facing five rivals in the Grade Two Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle.
Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "This is his final preparation race before the Champion Hurdle. We'd prefer better ground, but he's won on similar going so we are not worried. He goes well fresh. We've trained him differently this year and it seems to suit him."
Nicholls also runs Celestial Halo, who has finished second in this race for the last two years, while Alan King has won this race twice in recent times and goes for a third victory with Raya Star and Balder Succes.
"This has been a lucky race for us, with both Katchit and Mille Chief successful," the Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co.uk.
"Raya Star has been a model of consistency and has never stopped improving. He gave us two great days when winning The Ladbroke and the Scottish Champion Hurdle and also landed a hot Listed handicap at Ascot in November.
"His second to Darlan at Kempton makes excellent reading, and he is fresh and well after a short break, while the small field will certainly suit Balder Succes, who travelled well in the Welsh Champion but ultimately did not get home.
"He will appreciate coming back in trip and won't mind the ground, and, while he is wrong at the weights, he gets claustrophobic, so these conditions races seem to suit him better than the big handicaps."
Nicky Henderson saddled Binocular to lift this prize 12 months ago and has chosen this race to bring back Khyber Kim. The 2010 Champion Hurdle runner-up, when under the care of Nigel Twiston-Davies, returns to action after being sidelined for 681 days.
The Seven Barrows handler said: "He's in remarkably good form. He used to be a very good worker when I had him and Nigel said the same. He's capable of showing really good form, but he has been off for centuries and I'm sure he'll need the run."
23 November 2014Followme poised for Drinmore date
Balbriggan lands Troytown gamble
Vautour impresses on chasing debut
Balbriggan all the way
Un De Sceaux set for Thurles
Vautour off to impressive start
Melodic team face tough choice
Henderson aims at Listed prize
Croco in frame for Topham
Belle set for hurdling campaign
Deputy in Kempton firing line
McBratney banks on Boy progress
Silvi scraps to Betfair glory
Bally sparkles on Mullins' big day
Kelly's a Fixed Brush hero
Faugheen turns on the style
Fenton banned for three years
Amlin double for fab Ferof
New One excels in Haydock romp
Flyer grounds Ascot rivals
Vasco a cut above opposition
22 November 2014Conti strikes Betfair Chase gold
Taken seeking Listed gold
Mogol facing Monksfield test
Vautour makes chasing bow
Gordon enjoys Dundalk spin
McCoy: Landmark swayed judgment
Jacob warms up with brace
Hill peaking for Troytown return
Billy back on winning track
Walsh back for Ferof ride
New ready for Haydock Rush
Cheltenham is Big aim
Mullins eager for Faugheen run
Cue primed for Betfair defence
21 November 2014Geraghty snapped up for Seuil
Volnay aiming for quick repeat
Argocat camp play it cool
Leading Light retired
Frankel filly breaks Irish record
Linton loses Listed place
Doubles for Pipe and Scudamore
Nasty spill for Insole
McCoy targets midweek return
Farm comes Home to roost at Thurles
Flemenstar future dictated by scan
Cue lined up for Haydock return
20 November 2014McNamara joy at turning pro
Volnay seeking Mersey paradise
Sloane Avenue books Dubai date
Spencer reveals Qatar riding snub
Doyle ready for Godolphin challenge
Good news at Huntingdon
BHA hear Linton case
Avenue shows winning way
Grugy diagnosed with hip issue
Meade plots Monksland comeback
Ptit secures swift double
Shanes shines in hurdles win
Mullins' stars set for weekend runs
Haydock aim for Aurore
Medermit in Betfair contention