All six combatants are prominent players in one or more of the three major jump races: the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Hennessy Gold Cup or the Grand National.
In the Hennessy, Suny Bay, The Grey Monk and Mahler are all 14-1 chances with Coral, behind the 100-30 favourite Teeton Mill. In the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the same firm make See More Business, well backed 10 days ago, an 8-1 chance. Escartefigue is 10-1, Suny Bay 20-1, The Grey Monk 25-1, Mahler 33-1 and Strath Royal 50-1.
In the Grand National, Suny Bay, runner-up for the last two years, is 25-1 to go one better. The Grey Monk, Strath Royal and Mahler are 40-1 chances, while Escartefigue is 33-1 for the big race.
"This is one of the hottest pre-Christmas steeplechases we have seen this decade, and will undoubtedly have a significant bearing on major ante-post markets," Simon Clare, Coral's spokesman, said .
Doubts grew yesterday over whether Cyfor Malta will run in the Hennessy Gold Cup on 28 November. After his Cheltenham win on Saturday the ex-French gelding, trained by Martin Pipe, had been chalked in as one of the favourites for the Newbury prize. But Ladbrokes and Hills both made him 3-1 ''with a run'' last night. Coral believe Cyfor Malta is a doubtful participant.Reuse content