For many the Ryanair Chase could be the best race of the Cheltenham Festival, with so many great horses likely to compete. Favourite for the race is the 2007 Queen Mother Chase winner, Voy Por Ustedes, who looks almost certain to run in preference to taking on Master Minded in the Queen Mother, after being trounced by him in that race last year.
The 2 mile 5 furlong course that the Ryanair is run over looks much appropriate for Ustedes as it does to several of the other leading contenders. These contenders include last years winner, Our Vic and 2007 Arkle Chase winner, Tidal Bay.
There are still 35 Ryanair Chase runners left in the field at the latest forfeit stage, suggesting that the race will have a very competitive affair and a huge crowd pleaser.
The Queens Barbers Shop is another likely candidate, although he has a Gold Cup entry as well. But others entered who feature prominently in the betting are the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Imperial Commander, who won the Hennessey Gold Cup last November, he also enters the highly rated Knowhere. Monets Garden looks the likely lead contender for the Nicky Richards stable.
There are seven Irish entries, the best of them being Schindlers Hunt from the Dessie Hughes yard. Willie Mullins, who runners should never be overlooked will be represented by Scotsirish and Snowy Morning.