Leading trainer Nicky Henderson is set to saddle the hot favourite as he bids to land Huntingdon Racecourse’s headline contest for the third time in five years.
Top Notch has been installed as the 11/8 market leader for the Betfred Peterborough Chase, which goes off at 2.25pm this Sunday. Henderson is no stranger to big-race glory at the local track after sending out Riverside Theatre to triumph in 2013 and Josses Hill to land the Grade 2 prize, run over two miles and four furlongs, last year.
The defending champion also features among 13 entries along with Long House Hall, who could represent triumphant 2015 trainer Dan Skelton in the £65,000 feature.
There are plenty of other notable entries including former Cheltenham Festival hero Sire De Grugy.
The 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner is one of three possibles for trainer Gary Moore along with Traffic Fluide and Ar Mad.
Ten-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls is double-handed with Ptit Zig, a faller in the race two years ago, and San Benedeto, who racked up four wins earlier in the year.
Nothern raider Cloudy Dream (from the Malcolm Jefferson stable) and former Grade 1 winner God’s Own (Tom George) are likely to be fancied runners if taking up the engagement.
Charbel (Kim Bailey) and Kylemore Lough, a disappointing favourite in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham for Harry Fry, are other intended runners.
And there is a possible Irish participant in the form of Ballyoisin, who has been entered by trainer Enda Bolger.
“It is our most high profile and prestigious fixture of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse and the early indications are that we are going to have a cracking field of runners for the big race,” said general manager Liam Johnson.
A seven-race card, which gets underway at 12.15pm, also features the Listed Betfred TV Henrietta Knight Mares’ Standard National Hunt Flat Race.
Off-track attractions include a military village. ABF The Soldier’s Charity will be raising money on the day.
There is also plenty on offer for children including the chance to visit Santa in his grotto, bouncy castles and a bungee run.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3007 at £18 for adults. Accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge. Prices do rise on the day when gates open at 10.15am.
BETFRED PETERBOROUGH CHASE ODDS
(From Paddy Power): 11/8 Top Notch, 4/1 Cloudy Dream, 5/1 God’s Own, 15/2 Ptit Zig, 8/1 Josses Hill, 10/1 Ballyoisin, Charbel, 12/1 San Benedeto, Ar Mad, 14/1 Kylemore Lough, Sire De Grugy, 16/1 Traffic Fluide, 25/1 Long House Hall.
BETFRED PETERBOROUGH CHASE FACTFILE . . .
* The race was first run on December 2, 1969. It has been held over it’s current distance since 1978.
* The race was run on a Tuesday from 1969, moved to a Saturday in 1998, was switched to a Thursday in 2008 and has been held on a Sunday since 2014.
* The most successful trainer in the race is Henrietta Knight with eight wins. She now has a race named after her on Sunday’s card.
* The most successful horse in the race is Edredon Bleu with four successes – or have of those earned by his trainer, Knight.
* The most successful jockeys in the race are Richard Dunwoody and Jim Culloty with four wins apiece.