Albertas Run is the obvious starting point having won this a year ago and also the last two renewals of Cheltenham's Ryanair Chase. He had KALAHARI KING a length behind at The Festival last month where Tartak was well beaten but the runner-up gets the vote here as he didn't jump with his usual fluency, reserves his best for the big occasion, and landed the Grade 1 Maghull here as a Novice when Made In Taipan was beaten eight lengths. Master Minded was such a huge disappointment in the Champion Chase after seemingly restored to his very best by Paul Nicholls. He was well beaten by Voy Por Ustedes when runner-up in this three years ago but can never be dismissed with his superb strike-rate. Both Somersby and French Opera were in front of him at Cheltenham but Mad Max, who had beaten Somersby easily over the C&D in the Manifesto last season, was a long way behind. In the unlikely event of testing conditions, Tranquil Sea would come into the reckoning as he is ideally suited by the trip as he showed when beating J'y Vole in the John Durkan at Fairyhouse in December.
Albertas Run (IRE) 6-1 (11-10) Led until 3rd, led next, headed 7th, hit 13th, pushed along after 4 out, led next, driven approaching last, stayed on under pressure, held on, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar beating Kalahari King (11-10) by 1l, 11 ran.
Chaninbar (FR) 100-1 (11-12) Refused to race, in a race won by Oiseau de Nuit (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Mar, 23 ran.
French Opera 22-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, mistake and lost place 4 out, soon outpaced, kept on under pressure from 2 out, never on terms, 6th of 11, 16l behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Kalahari King (FR) 7-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, hit 4 out, headway when hit next, 6th approaching 2 out, stayed on under pressure before last, kept on flat, held by winner, 2nd of 11, 1l behind Albertas Run (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Made In Taipan (IRE) 9-4 (11-5) Chased leader, led 2nd, clear 4th, reduced advantage 6 out, ridden and headed entering straight, no extra after 3 out, left 4th 2 out, kept on one pace, 6th of 8, 21l behind Hughies Grey (11-5) at Navan 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) in Mar.
Mad Max (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) Led to 7th (water), with winner, lost place 4 out, soon outpaced weakened from next, 10th of 11, 32l behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Master Minded (FR) 2-1fav (11-10) Held up mid-division on outside, headway 4 out, challenged next, 2 lengths down in 3rd and driven when blundered badly and lost place 2 out, not recover, beaten when eased before last, 8th of 11, 31l behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Somersby (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders on outside, chased winner 4 out, mistake and lost place next, soon ridden, kept on under pressure to chase leaders on inside before 2 out, no impression flat, 5th of 11, 12l behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Tartak (FR) 16-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, hit 12th, soon ridden along, mistake 4 out, outpaced when hit 3 out, soon weakened, 7th of 11, 22l behind Albertas Run (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Tranquil Sea (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, led before 2 out, ridden to assert approaching last, held on under pressure run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f Grade 1 chs (1) sft in Dec beating J'y Vole (11-5) by 3/4l, 8 ran.