Tidal Bay heads a final field of 19 runners for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.
The enigmatic 11-year-old signed off last season with victory in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown and picked up where he left off by winning the John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby on his return to action. Ruby Walsh's mount aims to give trainer Paul Nicholls a fourth Hennessy triumph following the victories of Strong Flow (2003) and the great Denman (2007 and 2009).
Nicholls also saddles Harry The Viking, the mount of Daryl Jacob.
Ante-post favourite Bobs Worth lines up for Nicky Henderson and is joined by stable companion Roberto Goldback.
Ireland are strongly represented with First Lieutenant, Magnanimity and Irish Grand National hero Lion Na Bearnai.
Last year's Hennessy star Carruthers defends his crown, while Diamond Harry aims to regain the title he won in 2010.
The Package, Teaforthree - the mount of Tony McCoy - and Hold On Julio are other major contenders.
The three withdrawals from the confirmation stage were Junior, who instead runs in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on the same day, Planet Of Sound and Tatenen.
24 November 2014Midnight to stay over hurdles
Creek seeking Hennessy Gold
Nicholls planning dual George raid
Leather in fine form ahead of Cup
Dynaste team consider George run
Topper target hinges on ground
Followme poised for Drinmore date
Balbriggan lands Troytown gamble
Vautour impresses on chasing debut
Un De Sceaux set for Thurles
Melodic team face tough choice
Henderson aims at Listed prize
Croco in frame for Topham
Deputy in Kempton firing line
McBratney banks on Boy progress
23 November 2014Balbriggan all the way
Vautour off to impressive start
Belle set for hurdling campaign
Silvi scraps to Betfair glory
Bally sparkles on Mullins' big day
Kelly's a Fixed Brush hero
Faugheen turns on the style
Fenton banned for three years
Amlin double for fab Ferof
New One excels in Haydock romp
Flyer grounds Ascot rivals
Vasco a cut above opposition
22 November 2014Conti strikes Betfair Chase gold
Taken seeking Listed gold
Mogol facing Monksfield test
Vautour makes chasing bow
Gordon enjoys Dundalk spin
McCoy: Landmark swayed judgment
Jacob warms up with brace
Hill peaking for Troytown return
Billy back on winning track
Walsh back for Ferof ride
New ready for Haydock Rush
Cheltenham is Big aim
Mullins eager for Faugheen run
Cue primed for Betfair defence
21 November 2014Geraghty snapped up for Seuil
Volnay aiming for quick repeat
Argocat camp play it cool
Leading Light retired
Frankel filly breaks Irish record
Linton loses Listed place
Doubles for Pipe and Scudamore
Nasty spill for Insole
McCoy targets midweek return
Farm comes Home to roost at Thurles
Flemenstar future dictated by scan
Cue lined up for Haydock return