Step Back is among a maximum field of 20 as he bids to become the first back-to-back winner of the bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase for 26 years at Sandown on Saturday.
The Mark Bradstock-trained gelding took this prize off a 10lb lower mark last April when defeating Rock The Kasbah and was pulled up in the Grand National on his latest start.
Should Step Back be successful again, he would emulate Topsham Bay who stuck in 1992 and 1993. Ad Hoc has won the race twice since, but in 2001 and 2003.
Rock The Kasbah was brought down at Aintree while last year’s Scottish National hero Joe Farrell was pulled up in the Merseyside showpiece.
The weights are headed by Beware The Bear, winner of the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
His trainer Nicky Henderson also has Vyta Du Roc, who was runner-up in this race two years ago.
Paul Nicholls is three-handed with Present Man, Adrien Du Pont and Give Me A Copper as he is crowned champion trainer on what is the last day of the jumps season.
The Young Master, the winner in 2016, tries again for Neil Mulholland while others in the mix include Talkischeap, Rolling Dylan and Just A Sting.