With staying colossus and four-times winner Big Buck's sidelined through injury, a new name will be etched on the trophy, with Nick Williams' Long Walk and Cleeve Hurdle victor Reve De Sivola seemingly the chief pretender to the World Hurdle throne.
Oscar Whisky was well beaten when fifth 12 months ago for Nicky Henderson but got close to Reve De Sivola in the Cleeve and tries again.
Peddlers Cross, winner of the Neptune Novices' Hurdle here in 2010, when he beat Reve De Sivola by a length and a half, and runner-up in the Champion Hurdle of 2011, represents Donald McCain.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of Big Buck's, saddles Wonderful Charm and Celestial Halo, while Henderson also runs Oscara Dara.
A strong Irish team features Bog Warrior, Zaidpour, So Young and Solwhit.
Dual race winner Albertas Run features among eight declared runners for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on Thursday.
Jonjo O'Neill's 12-year-old won the two-mile-five-furlong showpiece in 2010 and 2011, as well as finishing second to Riverside Theatre last year, but has not run since last year's Grand National meeting at Aintree.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Riverside Theatre reopposes, having himself only run twice since his big day 12 months ago, and 2010 Champion Bumper hero Cue Card takes his chance for Colin Tizzard.
Plenty of interest will surround the Mouse Morris-trained First Lieutenant, who runs in this race in preference to the Gold Cup on Friday.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding was beaten just a head by Tidal Bay in the Lexus over three miles at Christmas and prior to that was third to Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth in the Hennessy at Newbury.
Morris said: "The decision has been made to let him run in the Ryanair and I think with the way the ground has gone, it's probably the right decision."
Champion Court, For Non Stop, Menorah and Ghizao complete the line-up.