Last year's winner Hurricane Fly heads 20 remaining entries for the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on 13 March following the latest scratchings deadline.
Willie Mullins' top-class gelding is hot favourite to retain his title and the champion trainer for six of the nine Irish-trained horses in the list.
His others are Final Approach, Mikael D'Haguenet, So Young, Thousand Stars and Zaidpour.
Oscar Whisky, who was third to Hurricane Fly in last year's renewal, has been taken out by trainer Nicky Henderson and will instead take on Big Buck's in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
Henderson is still represented by the 2010 hero Binocular and Grandouet, winner of the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December.
Paul Nicholls has four possibles in Brampour, Celestial Halo, Rock On Ruby and Zarkandar as he seeks a first success in this race.
The remaining withdrawals were Bobby Ewing, Dare Me, Flat Out, Spirit Son, Topolski and Unaccompanied.