Jenkins has chance to match Altior in Kempton opener
Nicky Henderson will bid to begin Boxing Day in similar style to 12 months ago when Jenkins aims to follow in the footsteps of Altior by landing the 2m novice hurdle (12.55 Kempton).
Already burdened with a huge home reputation, Jenkins was pushed out to win a race stablemate Buveur D'Air had captured last year on his hurdles debut at Newbury, and must score again to justify his position as favourite for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
Henderson said in his Stan James blog: "The Supreme is a long way off and while we won this race with Altior last year, he was a lot more experienced than Jenkins is now and we’re still on a learning curve with this one.
"But he has a lot of scope and I’m more than hopeful he can go very well as he has got the right profile for a race like this – but he does have to go and do it."
Wise to change tack
Buywise returns to hurdles (2.15 Wincanton), where off a mark 10lb lower than his chase rating he will attempt to earn qualification for the Pertemps Final at next year's Cheltenham Festival.
Running in a first-time visor last time, the Evan Williams-trained stalwart came seventh in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, the first time he has finished outside the first five in eight runs at Cheltenham.
"We need to be careful with him as he has had so many hard races," said Williams.
"He had headgear on and jumped a lot worse than he ever has done. It's a waste of time off that mark and he is better treated over hurdles so we thought we'd try to get him qualified for the final if we wanted to go down that route."
No more maidens
Woodukheleyfit (1.35 Wolverhampton) makes his first appearance since July, when he failed in an attempt to win two maidens - an opportunity that arose out of a disqualification and subsequent successful appeal.
He finished first past the post in a maiden at Wolverhampton but was controversially demoted to second for impeding runner-up Bayston Hill.
Trainer Sylvester Kirk appealed against the decision and succeeded in overturning it, but by the time the hearing took place at the BHA Woodukheleyfit had already run again, finishing fourth in a similar race at Lingfield.
"We were trying to win two maidens with him but he injured himself in that race at Lingfield," said Kirk.
"He's fit enough to run well. Whether he's fit enough to win is the question, but he's in good form and looks well."
Long lost friend
The 12-year-old Friendship Bay makes his first appearance since June 2012 in a selling hurdle (12.00 Market Rasen), having run for only two seasons in a career of seven starts.
"He won a bumper in 2009 and went wrong at the end of that year," explained trainer James Evans, whose wife Jane bred and owns him. "We brought him back after a couple of seasons off and he ran another three times and was placed but went wrong again.
"He's a very big-topped fragile horse. He has been a lead horse and we thought we might give him another go. We have been waiting for the right ground and it should be safe enough. We wouldn't want to lose him but wanted to give him the most straightforward option."