Tidal Bay heads 32 horses still in contention for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday week.
Runner-up behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth under top-weight in last year's race, the 12-year-old went on to land a thrilling Lexus Chase at Leopardstown before missing the rest of the campaign through injury.
He appeared as good as ever when winning over hurdles at Wetherby at the start of the month, and trainer Paul Nicholls has still to decide whether or not he lines up in this or the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday
Second in at the weights for Newbury's flagship contest is Malcolm Jefferson's Cape Tribulation, but he, too, is not certain to start, with the trainer considering switching his charge back to hurdles.
If the top two do not line up, the weights will rise by at least a stone, with the Venetia Williams-trained Katenko a possible top-weight.
Ante-post favourite Invictus remains in the mix, along with other leading fancies Rocky Creek, Our Father, Hadrian's Approach and 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander.
The Irish challenge is headed by Jim Culloty's RSA Chase hero Lord Windermere.
Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins has Prince De Beauchene, Terminal, On His Own, Vesper Bell and Themoonandsixpence engaged.