Stolen Silver seeks Cheltenham revenge as he tops December Gold Cup field

Stolen Silver will be looking for Cheltenham redemption as he heads the 15 declared for the AIS December Gold Cup Handicap Chase.

Sam Thomas' charge was sent off as favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Prestbury Park last month and was not without a chance in a race won by Jamie Snowden's Ga Law when unseating Sam Twiston-Davies three out. 

Twiston-Davies will be onboard once again as Stolen Silver competes off the same mark of 150, but he must shoulder top weight on this occasion.

Paddy Power Gold Cup fourth Il Ridoto is disputing matters with Stolen Silver at the top of the market as he looks to enhance Paul Nicholls' fine record in the race, while Deyrann De Carjac (fifth), Simply The Betts (seventh) and Storm Control (eighth) are others looking to better their most recent efforts.

However both Storm Control and Kauto Riko also hold an engagement at Doncaster which is their stated first preference.

War Lord steps up in trip for Joe Tizzard having finished a staying on third in the Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance with Market Rasen scorer Fantastic Lady and Venetia Williams' Frero Banbou others with leading claims.

The race will be without ante-post favourite Midnight River, though, with the seven-year-old not appearing amongst the final field on Thursday morning.

Dan Skelton had previously issued a warning about the ground being on the quick side and the handler is not willing to take any chances this time around, preferring to wait for the £100,000 Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase at the track.

He said: "We want it (the ground) to be a good bit softer than it was in November and even though it probably will be a bit softer, I want to see it properly good to soft. So he's going to go (to Cheltenham) on New Year's Day."

In the Unibet International Hurdle Nicky Henderson holds a strong hand by saddling both 2020 Champion Hurdle winner Epatante and impressive Gerry Feilden scorer First Street.

Five go to post for the Grade Two contest with Greatwood Hurdle winner I Like To Move It, Elite Hurdle victor Knappers Hill and Irish raider Zoffanien completing the line-up.

However, with an inspection called for 1pm ahead of Friday's fixture at the track due to frost, it remains to be seen if the meeting can go ahead.

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