The leading contenders have stood their ground for Cheltenham
The leading contenders have stood their ground for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Last Updated: 20/02/13 12:33pm
Willie Mullins' Pont Alexandre and Nigel Twiston-Davies' The New One both remain on track to meet at next month's Festival.
Both runners still have a choice of entries at Cheltenham as do many of the remaining 74 entries.
Mullins still has a dozen possible runners to choose from with last year's Champion Bumper winner and Un Atout other possibles while Mouse Morris could still run impressive Naas winner Rule The World.
Nicky Henderson, successful 12 months ago, could be represented by My Tent Or Yours' conqueror Chatterbox and last weekend's Ffos Las winner Whisper with Taquin Du Seuil and Melodic Rendezvous other notable entries.
Taquin Du Seuil is still engaged in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle for which 76 horses have stood their ground, including stablemate Cloudy Copper who is the more prominent of the pair in the betting.
At Fishers Cross has headed the market since beating The New One on Trials' Day at Prestbury Park and Rebecca Curtis' charge is reported to be on course to line up.
Vying for favouritism is the Mullins-trained Ballycasey who is unbeaten in three starts under Rules with Coneygree, African Gold and Gevrey Chambertin other leading candidates.
There are 47 possibles for the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Dessie Hughes' impressive Spring Hurdle winner Our Conor chief among them.
Diakali could re-oppose but Mullins' strength in depth is further advertised as the County Carlow handler has no fewer than half a dozen other possibles.
Nicky Henderson's quartet are headed by impressive Trial winner Rolling Star while Far West heads Paul Nicholls' quintet.
John Quinn, responsible for last year's winner Countrywide Flame, could saddle Kashmir Peak and Calculated Risk in his bid to retain the prize.