Long Run will face five rivals as he aims to make a winning return to action in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old looked set to dominate the staying chase division for years to come after winning the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup a couple of seasons ago, but last term was not so straightforward.
He had to chase home the resurgent Kauto Star at Haydock and in the King George at Kempton and while he won the Aon Chase at Newbury, he was only third when defending his Cheltenham crown.
His main rival could be the up-and-coming Silviniaco Conti. The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old showed smart form as a novice and appeared much improved when sauntering clear in the Charlie Hall Chase on his return.
The Giant Bolster ran a screamer to beat Long Run to the runner-up spot in the Gold Cup and sets out this season to prove that effort was no fluke for the David Bridgwater team.
Weird Al is an interesting contender for the Donald McCain yard. The nine-year-old is seemingly at his best when fresh, as he showed when victorious in last year's Charlie Hall.
Wayward Prince finished second in this season's Charlie Hall on his first start since being trained by his owner Hilary Parrott and now returns to Grade One level. The field is completed by the Colin Tizzard-trained outsider Cannington Brook.
The injured Imperial Commander, Midnight Chase and Tidal Bay were withdrawn at the final declaration stage.
27 February 2015Divine Bishop on Festival trail
Irish duo set Doncaster poser
Night riding high for Grimthorpe
Golantilla in Ballsbridge bid
Glingerburn facing another battle
Pipe targets Aintree with veterans
Carlito primed for Kelso return
McCoy not planning Festival goodbye
Bridge camp praying for rain
Cook suspended from riding
Safety strikes in Zabeel Mile
Fehily confirms Zarkandar mount
Lieutenant bosses Purcell rivals
Dettori delights on Dubday
Many Clouds goes back to school
Maguire loses appeal
New One at ease for Faugheen clash
Foxrock still in Gold Cup picture
Apache ready to take flight in JLT
26 February 2015Higgins back in business
Cookie poised for April return
Silvi threat unsettles Riches camp
No going concerns at Cheltenham
Fry resigned to Fehily Ruby loss
Trip key to Balder success - King
McLernon gets nod for Holywell
Salsify leads Foxhunter field
Mullins unveils Bumper entry
Curtis hoping for Cross revival
Aurore misses Mares' date
25 February 2015Ton-up for in-form Pipe
Big display from George veteran
Credit to join the Premier league
Jack to duck Grimthorpe date
Tea preparing for National tilt
Geraghty rates Whisper World claims
George retains Module faith
Uramazin ready to go again
Coney team wait on Festival call
Aintree on Ceremony agenda
Silvi is all Gold - Nicholls
Bright Clouds gets serious
Puffin swoops at Leicester
Nicholls: Rheu call tough for Sam
Nicholls suffers Hinterland blow
Own on Cheltenham trail
BHA issues new anti-doping rules
Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment
That ruled out of World bid
24 February 2015Carr revved up for National service
Draycott Festival plans shelved
Knott to appeal three-year ban
Conti at fever pitch for Gold Cup
Fiddes seeking Movie gift
Generous praise for Ransom
No regrets for Doyle
O'Regan rates Stark claims
Fortt wins stable staff gong
Festival aim for Keevil's Legend
Nothing slow about Best's Foot
Duke toppled at Ayr
Serge bids for Festival flyer
Filleule has 'realistic chance'
Henderson: Sprinter 'spot on'
Time beats Henderson with That
Jacob rates Reve chance
Twiston-Davies eager for Rocky ride
Beltor likely for Triumph bid