Long Run could face up to ten rivals as he bids to get off the mark for the campaign in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

The seven-year-old, owned by Robert Waley Cohen, who lives at Edgehill, near Banbury, and ridden by his son, Sam, is using the race as a prep for the defence of his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown, having had to twice make do with minor honours behind Kauto Star this season.

Kauto Star’s trainer, Paul Nicholls, has three potential challengers for Long Run this weekend in What A Friend, the enigmatic Tidal Bay, and Aiteen Thirtythree.

Nicky Henderson, who trains Long Run, could also be represented by Burton Port, who has been out for more than a year.

Hennessy Gold Cup hero Carruthers from Mark Bradstock’s Letcombe Bassett stables, near Wantage, may return to the scene of his finest hour.

And recent Cheltenham winner The Giant Bolster, Halley, Medermit, Little Josh and Mr Moonshine complete the entries.