Paul Nicholls’ 10-year-old reclaimed his crown 12 months ago when he beat stablemate and 2008 winner Denman and the same two dominate the market again.
The race has been billed as the decider but Denman crashed out in his prep race at Newbury while Kauto Star looked unbeatable winning a fourth King George in December.
As well as the big two, Nicholls also runs Tricky Trickster, who took advantage of Denman’s spill in the Aon, and last year’s fifth My Will.
Imperial Commander won the Ryanair Chase at the Festival 12 months ago and returns for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
He gave Kauto Star an almighty scare in the Betfair Chase last November but he did disappoint again in the King George.
Last year’s RSA Chase winner Cooldine is the sole Irish challenger for Willie Mullins and he will be ridden by Paul Townend as Ruby Walsh partners Kauto Star.
Carruthers would be a fairytale winner for his owner Lord Oaksey and trainer Mark Bradstock while Henrietta Knight, who went so close with Somersby in the Arkle, runs Calgary Bay in the same colours.
Grand National winner Mon Mome runs for Venetia Williams with Aidan Coleman in the saddle. The Paul Murphy-trained duo of Cerium and Mr Pointment complete the field.