There are 39 entries, including 16 from Ireland, for the £300,000 Ryanair Chase, run over two miles and five furlongs and one of the two Grade One contests staged on St Patrick's Thursday, March 12.
The two most recent winners are both engaged, the 2014 scorer Dynaste (David Pipe) and Cue Card (Colin Tizzard), who won in 2013.
The pair were last seen out in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, with Dynaste taking the runner-up spot behind Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card coming home in fifth.
Cue Card scored by a decisive nine lengths when successful in 2013. The nine-year-old missed last year's Festival through injury and was unable to defend his crown.
Prior to his run at Kempton Park, Colin Tizzard's flag-bearer was fourth in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and filled the same position when bidding for back-to-back victories in the extended three-mile Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on November 22.
Tizzard reported: "The Ryanair Chase is the target for Cue Card. It looks as though in the very top grade that he does not stay, so that's why we are coming back in trip.
"He picked up quite a nasty cut in the King George and had to have stitches. He had to have a few quiet days but we have just started riding him back now.
"He will not run before Cheltenham and we have got two and a half months to get him ready."
The Dorset trainer has also entered Third Intention, who was fifth in last year's Festival Plate at The Festival.
Tizzard added: "We entered Third Intention in there just in case he went and hosed up somewhere.
"I don't know where he will he go next but we thought it was worth making an entry as you never know."
Willie Mullins has six entries, more than any other trainer, and has given Champagne Fever the Ryanair Chase as another option, as well as engaging Ballycasey, Boston Bob, Djakadam, Turban and Twinlight.
First Lieutenant (Mouse Morris) was second to Cue Card in 2013, while the two most recent winners of the Listed Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase at The Festival have also been entered - Present View (Jamie Snowden) and Rajdhani Express (Nicky Henderson).
Henderson has made five entries - his others are Captain Conan, Finian's Rainbow, Hunt Ball and Ma Filleule.
Philip Hobbs, who has enjoyed a tremendous season, could run Menorah, winner of the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November, and Wishfull Thinking, successful in December's Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.