Howard Johnson's front-running grey was better than ever last season and his victory in Aintree's Betfair Bowl in April postponed the 11-year-old's retirement. Johnson said: "Grey Abbey is in good form and this race has always been his early-season target."
The three mile and one furlong feature, part of the British Horseracing Board's Order of Merit series, also sees the return of two other highly-rated chasers who have suffered setbacks - Ollie Magern and Kingscliff, the 11-4 favourite.
l Today's Flat card at Catterick was abandoned yesterday as the course is waterlogged, while there is a precautionary 7am inspection today at Yarmouth.
Although the going was only soft yesterday the clerk of the course, Charlie Moore, wants to ensure the forecast overnight rain is not too heavy.
Nottingham will inspect at 7.30am today for their meeting tomorrow following 28 millimetres of rain.
Yesterday's meeting at Leicester was abandoned.Reuse content