Rebecca Curtis' first Cheltenham Festival winner Teaforthree has been installed as the 7-1 market leader with the sponsors for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on 27 December.
Officially, he would be the first Welsh-trained winner of the marathon since Norther in 1965, although Le Beau Bai (the 10-1 joint second favourite) was trained to land last year's contest by Richard Lee in the borders.
Teaforthree, who took the National Hunt Chase over four miles last March, warmed up with an outing in the Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last weekend, won by another Chepstow entry in Monbeg Dude.
Giles Cross, who has been second in the last two renewals, is also among the 55 entries along with a useful Paul Nicholls team featuring Tidal Bay, Harry The Viking, Join Together, Royal Charm and Michel Le Bon.
Ireland could well pose a serious threat in the race, as Willie Mullins has made entries for cross-county specialist Uncle Junior and Irish Hennessy winner Quel Esprit, while Becauseicouldntsee, Ardglen, Jadanli, Raz de Maree and Gordon Elliott's pair of Chicago Grey and Tharawaat could also be involved.