Shishkin, Envoi Allen and Monkfish dominate the markets for the three Grade 1 novice chases at the Cheltenham Festival and starred among the entries revealed for those races on Wednesday.
Last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Shishkin is odds-on with bookmakers to add another Cheltenham Festival success to his burgeoning reputation in the Sporting Life Arkle, a race Nicky Henderson has won six times including with Sprinter Sacre (2012), Simonsig (2013) and Altior (2017) in the last decade.
Unlike Envoi Allen and Monkfish, who have multiple options, Shishkin's only entry in the novice chase contests at the festival is in the Arkle, and he was one of 34 put into contention for the opening day Grade 1.
Henry VIII Novices' Chase winner Allmankind is entered and could be one of his leading rivals, although Dan Skelton recently suggested he would have no issue taking on Shishkin before Cheltenham if both turned up for the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick next month.
Willie Mullins has trained the Arkle winner in four of the last six seasons and has six entries in the race including unbeaten chaser Energumene – the general second favourite – Franco De Port, Janidil and Klassical Dream, the 2019 Supreme winner who has yet to make his debut over fences.
Grand Annual favourite Sky Pirate, a reformed character since dropping back in trip, has been given an entry in the Arkle and Marsh Novices' Chase by Jonjo O'Neill, while Hitman, Eldorado Allen and Ga Law are other British-trained entries for the Arkle.
Ga Law's trainer Jamie Snowden also has The Bannerkingrebel entered in the Arkle, although both have multiple options at the Cheltenham Festival.
He said: "Ga Law is in great order and the plan was to always give him a break after running at Sandown in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.
"I was delighted with his performance in that event, but he did shape as if he wanted to go back up in trip and so that looks the plan for the rest of the season. His next run will be in the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton in February.
"We have entered him in the Arkle, Marsh and the three-miler at the Cheltenham Festival. I think we will see how get on at Kempton first, but I am leaning towards either the Marsh or the three-miler.
"Thebannerkingrebel is on for a £40,000 bonus at the Cheltenham Festival if he can win a race there having landed a contest at Plumpton earlier this season.
"He did take quite a bad fall back at the track last time, so we’ll take our time with him and we might enter him in a number of races at Cheltenham over both hurdles and fences."
Envoi Allen, the unbeaten even-money ante-post favourite for the Marsh and one of the rising stars of racing, is among 47 entered for Thursday's opening race including Energumene, Shan Blue and Allart.
Messire Des Obeaux, a general 12-1 chance in the ante-post market for the Marsh, has not been entered in any of the Cheltenham Festival novice chases.
The Mullins-trained The Big Getaway also did not feature in any of the entries following an injury setback that will likely see him miss the rest of the season.
In the Festival Novices' Chase, which was formerly the RSA, 15-8 ante-post favourite Monkfish heads 53 entries including Latest Exhibition, who he conquered narrowly in last season's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and more decisively in Grade 1 action at Leopardstown over the festive period.
Next Destination, a winner at Warwick on Saturday, The Big Breakaway, Pencilfulloflead and Royal Pagaille have all been entered.
Latest Exhibition, Next Destination, Pencilfulloflead and Royal Pagaille are also among 59 entries for the National Hunt Chase, with 9-2 ante-post favourite Galvin in contention.