Waiting Patiently, trained by Yorkshire-based Ruth Jefferson who had the 2018 Ryanair Chase third Cloudy Dream, has won six of his seven starts over fences, with his most notable success coming in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase at Ascot in February.
The lightly-raced eight-year-old, owned by Richard Collins, met his first defeat over fences last time out when hampered and unseating regular partner Brian Hughes at the ninth fence in the Grade 1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on December 26th.
Paul Nicholls has two leading contenders in Frodon and Politologue, who is also entered in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Frodon has taken his form to a new level this season, winning the Grade 2 Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree and the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup for the second time at The International in December.
13 of the record 29 Irish-trained entries are from the stable of Willie Mullins, Ireland's champion Jump trainer.
The pick of the Mullins' contenders are Al Boum Photo, Footpad, Kemboy, Un De Sceaux and Min.
Fellow Irish training behemoth Gordon Elliott's has six contenders including Shattered Love and The Storyteller.
Henry de Bromhead saddled the latest Irish winner of the Ryanair Chase in 2018 with Balko Des Flos, who triumphed by four and a half lengths under Davy Russell, but has yet to hit top form in three runs so far his season.
The trainer has also entered Monalee, Petit Mouchoir and Sub Lieutenant.
Venetia Williams, is hoping Aso can improve on his third behind Un De Sceaux in the 2017 Ryanair Chase.
Williams said: "Aso has come out of his win at Cheltenham in good form.
"The Ryanair Chase is the target. He deserves his place in the race and it was a great performance to finish third in the Ryanair a couple of seasons ago and that is again where we will go.
"He will have possibly have one or even two runs before The Festival. We could take him back to Cheltenham for Festival Trials Day (January 26th) or go to Ascot for the Grade 1 Ascot Chase (February 16th).
"Aso has now got another string to his bow as by accident, he made much of the running on his last two starts and he did it very well. We used to think he is a horse that needed holding on to, but that is not the case anymore."