Giles Cross beat subsequent Aintree hero Neptune Collonges in the Betfred Grand National Trial 12 months ago and returns to Haydock to defend his crown.
A subsequent disappointment at Liverpool, the 11-year-old was also pulled up in the Welsh National on his return.
"I feel very happy going into Saturday's race. He's had an uninterrupted preparation since the Welsh National. The horses are coming to form and the going will be heavy, which is an added bonus," said handler Victor Dartnall.
Trainer Michael Scudamore is thinking in a different direction with Monbeg Dude, who was given a tremendous waiting ride from Paul Carberry to defeat the reopposing Teaforthree in the Welsh National.
Scudamore said: "He came out of the race in great form. It was probably the genius of Paul Carberry that did it, but the day after he was out in the field bucking and kicking. He hardly knew he had a run somehow, so we couldn't be happier with how he is. Paul is a masterful rider and I'll leave it up to him.
"Three miles four (furlongs) on heavy ground should be absolutely ideal for him. On a flatter track they might go that stride faster, but round Haydock in those sort of conditions will be a test of stamina and hopefully that will suit him the best."
Looking ahead with Monbeg Dude, Scudamore told At The Races: "He has a Gold Cup entry and he will have an entry in the three-mile handicap there as well. The owners are very keen to have a go in the Gold Cup if Saturday all went well and it came up heavy at Cheltenham, or certainly soft ground."
Gary Moore fields an interesting runner for shrewd owner Patrick Wilmott in the shape of Well Refreshed. A recruit from the retired Peter Winkworth, he beat Rigadin De Beauchene at Lingfield and, one fall at the same track aside, could even have landed his last four starts.
Well Refreshed took the Sussex National at Plumpton last time and Moore said: "We had always hoped he'd be a decent chaser but he fell first time at Fontwell and it took a long time to get him back. This is the best race he has run in off his highest mark, but he stays well in that sort of ground when others won't."
Brian Ellison's Neptune Equester pleased on his only outing since finishing 13th in the National, and jockey Danny Cook said: "He won over hurdles at Wetherby on his first run back. He seemed to enjoy himself and hopefully he's fresh and ready to go on Saturday."
30 May 2015Adaay ends Limato hot streak
Evergreen Kingsgate rules again
Cookie puts down Gold Cup marker
Peacock struts his stuff
Bay books Royal Ascot ticket
Gosden happy with Classic duo
Improving Shalaa off the mark
Miss perfect hits Pinnacle peak
Hanagan hangs on in thriller
Legatissimo on course for Oaks
Zawraq team expect Derby battle
Tudhope suffers thumb problem
Tudhope suffers thumb problem
Niven expecting tough Cookie test
Buick hits top gear at Newmarket
Bellajeu camp on weather watch
Tiana out to peak in Pinnacle
Terrific Treve back with a bang
Candy sweet on Limato chance
Sole set for Stand defence
Ansgar ready for Jury duty
Pretend ruled out of Achilles
Hannon confident on Moheet trip
29 May 2015Botti bides time with Angel
Commemorative holds Ascot option
Peacock on display at Newmarket
Muthmir takes Chantilly test
Autumn aims for Charming
Ballycorus on Cappella agenda
Wandjina and Beau enjoy Ascot prep
Classy Consort takes Heron spoils
Hymn hits right note
Force just irresistible at Sandown
King for a day at Sandown
Clouds gathered for Stratford
Sumbal set to stay at home
Staying big guns in Irish Leger
Telescope sights fixed on Hardwicke
Mel Brittain dies, aged 71
28 May 2015Broken wrist for Colliver
Moheet given Epsom go-ahead
Henderson ponders Simonsig plan
'Remarkable' Treve ready to roll
Osaila has Coronation goal
Sleepy time in Tercentenary
Unlucky break for Heskin
No Oaks bid for Pamona
Ton-up celebration for Master
Newton bounces back at Gowran
Dettori set for Chrome Ascot gallop
Stellar entry for Irish Champion
Simenon back on Gold Cup trail
Tryster takes acid test
Mile stars headline Sussex entry
Naas beckons for Toscanini
Medicean poised for weekend run
27 May 2015Colliver hurt in Cartmel fall
Karpino to stay at home
Pankhurst to miss Royal Ascot
Treve stars in Corrida field
Epsom forecast as Thunder aim
Tac team happy to bide time
Raydara in season during Guineas
Life's a Beach for Levins
Ervedya given Royal approval
Haggas on War footing for Ascot
Oaks trip to suit Legatissimo
Coronation up Dolniya's street
Ribbons may cut a dash to Curragh
Gosden duo at ease for Brigadier
Derby duo gives Gosden glee
Found remains in Derby hat
Park satisfies in Epsom spin