Bravemansgame will be prohibitive odds to add his name to the illustrious roll of honour in the Double Daily Rewards With Betfair Graduation Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has saddled seven of the last 10 winners of the two-mile-five-furlong contest, with future stars Politologue (2016) and Clan Des Obeaux (2017) among those to use this race as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things.
The Ditcheat handler has similarly high hopes for Bravemansgame, who was one of the leading staying novice hurdlers in Britain last season and is expected to scale even greater heights over fences.
The six-year-old made an excellent start to his chasing career at Newton Abbot last month and faces three more experienced rivals in a bid to double his tally.
“He’s ready to go. The ground being good to soft is perfect,” said Nicholls.
“It’s not a novice chase, but it’s an intermediate chase and he gets a bit of a weight allowance.
“The track will suit him very well. It’s a different track to jump round here, but he was very good and solid in his jumping at Newton Abbot and this will be some more experience for him.”
Nicholls is hoping victory this weekend will tee up Bravemansgame for a tilt at the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
He added: “I could have gone to Newbury next weekend, but I keep looking at the forecast and I can’t see too much rain coming and running here gives me an extra week before Kempton.”
The highest-rated horse in the field is Olly Murphy’s Itchy Feet, who was beaten a length into second place by Allmankind in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree four weeks ago.
The Ann Hamilton-trained Pay The Piper also merits respect, having chased home the high-class Fiddlerontheroof in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle on his latest appearance.
Alnadam, representing the formidable combination of Dan and Harry Skelton, completes the line-up.