Make it Monet in Ryanair

MONET'S GARDEN, a horse who jumps for fun, is the nap choice to land the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham this afternoon.

He ran a cracker at the meeting a year ago when finishing a gallant second behind Voy Por Ustedes in the Arkle Trophy and that looks rather a smart effort now.

The trip then was two miles which was, arguably, short of his best.

Strongly fancied to go well in the King George at Kempton at Christmas, Nicky Richards' charge performed way below expectations.

But he bounced right back to his best at Ascot last month, over two miles and three, when slamming Thisthatandtother by eight lengths.

The mildly enigmatic Our Vic, Racing Demon, better travelling right-handed, and Taranis are the dangers, but whatever beats Monet's Garden will surely win!

The ground is drying out all the time and the likelihood is that Black Jack Ketchum will become a major order for the Ladbrokes' World Hurdle.

He stopped to a walk on this track in January, however, when a remote fifth to Blazing Bailey. Of course the testing conditions then were all against him, but he's not for me, until leaving the effort solidly behind.

In that particular contest, Blazing Bailey beat Inglis Drever by four lengths and the latter now gets the vote on 8lbs better terms.

The rest of the programme wouldn't be out of place on a wet Thursday in Ireland, consisting of a four mile chase and three handicaps.

Tom Taaffe's Kings Advocate should run a big race in the opening Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase.

He stays really well and certainly ran a promising trial when third to Carthalawn, over an inadequate two miles at Naas.

Paul Nicholls' Gungadu, who has got favourable mention alongside stable companion Denman, is regarded as virtually unbeatable in the National Hunt Chase.

But he's not going to be any value and a little each-way on Fair Question, who ran away from Nicholls' Chamoss Royale at Plumpton, could be a viable alternative.


2.00 Kings Advocate

2.35 Monet's Garden (nap)

3.15 Inglis Drever (n.b)

4.00 Opera Mundi

4.40 Fair Question

5.20 Adamant Approach.

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