Sceau Royal will face five rivals including a trio of Irish raiders in the stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Alan King-trained four-year-old disappointed when well fancied for the Triumph Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival and also failed to fire on his final juvenile appearance at Aintree.
He made a flying start to the new campaign at Cheltenham in October, however, and was an impressive winner of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton at the beginning of the month, earning a return to Grade One level at Gosforth Park this weekend.
Apple's Jade was narrowly beaten in the Triumph Hurdle before spectacular displays at Aintree and Punchestown.
The former Willie Mullins inmate, who carries the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, disappointed on her first start for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal and bids to bounce back.
Gigginstown and trainer Henry de Bromhead teamed up to land last year's Fighting Fifth with Identity Thief and combine with Petit Mouchoir this time.
Shark Hanlon's stable stalwart Hidden Cyclone completes the Irish challenge.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Irving won this prize in 2014 and bids to regain his crown, with Mirsaale from Keith Dalgleish's yard completing the field.
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Source: At The Races