Richard Johnson will partner comeback kid Coneygree in what promises to be a fascinating Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

The champion jockey was lined up as the preferred pilot for the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero after regular rider Nico de Boinville broke his arm in a fall at Cheltenham last week.

However, he was committed to riding Menorah for boss Philip Hobbs in the Merseyside feature and, as a result, Aidan Coleman was booked for the Coneygree ride in the knowledge that Johnson would take over in the saddle if proven good ground performer Menorah was taken out on account of the deteriorating conditions.

While trainer Hobbs appeared keen to saddle Menorah early on Friday afternoon, it later emerged his charge would not run, leaving Johnson free to partner Coneygree for the second time.

Coneygree has packed an awful lot into his career to date, winning nine of his 12 starts, but he has only been seen once since claiming the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice in 2015.

Standing firmly in Coneygree's way is Colin Tizzard's Cue Card, twice a winner of the race already but surprisingly beaten on his return in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Despite that reverse, Tizzard is in confident mood.

He said: "The ground looks perfect - it should be ideal for him.

"It's a proper Grade One race, as you would expect, but we're looking forward to it.

"He (Cue Card) had a good blow after the Charlie Hall and I think he ran equally as well at Wetherby as he did last year.

"He then went to Haydock and he was very good, so let's hope we have him in the same form again."

Irish Cavalier beat both Cue Card and Menorah at Wetherby but meets that pair on 4lb worse terms and Rebecca Curtis is wary of conditions.

"Now he's a bit older he does handle the softer ground better, but there's no doubt he's at his best on nice ground, all his best form is normally in the spring," she said.

"We'll give it a go and see, I just think the ground might have gone against him.

"Last year I'm not sure he was ever fully right, he looked like winning the Paddy Power and then fell in a bit of a heap.

"Then in the King George and Gold Cup he was ridden to try and get the trip but that meant we were giving top-class horses loads of ground and you can't do that."