Darlan heads 23 for big Cheltenham hurdle
(Healy Racing Photos)
Nicky Henderson's charge finished second in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival last season before going on to victory at Aintree.
He is already one of the leading contenders for the Champion Hurdle next March.
The five-year-old shoulders top weight of 11-12 jointly along with the Philip Hobbs-trained Snap Tie, who was last seen returning from a long absence with victory at Punchestown.
Paul Nicholls' trio of Prospect Wells, Ted Spread and Dark Lover are in the field along with the likes of the Tom George-trained Olofi, Willie Mullins' Rattan and last year's Galway Hurdle winner Moon Dice.
Henderson also has an interesting second string in former Irish recruit Cash And Go, who will be making his debut for the Seven Barrows handler.
Up-and-coming Irish conditional Robbie Jones has been selected to ride Domination for Charles Byrnes, while the booking of Timmy Murphy takes the eye for outsider Blue Bajan.
Willie Mullins' charge lost his Champion Hurdle crown at Cheltenham in March but bounced back to winning form at Punchestown in April.