Ahead of the third day of action, here are John Duggan's own Cheltenham tips for the races ahead.
Monalee (NAP) can provide Rachael Blackmore with the biggest win of her career in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham today (2.50). This lovely chaser has appeared at two Festivals and has finished second twice. A good jumper, the form of the novice race he contested last year has worked out. He warmed up for this with a nice win at Gowran Park and I cannot see him out of the first three.
I am chasing profit at this stage, so I don't have any qualms about backing two horses each way in the showpiece, the Stayers Hurdle (3.30). Bacardys has not worked out over fences, but he is a Grade 1 hurdle winner over shorter distances. He was staying on when he fell in this race last year, likely to place. He also didn't get the run of the race 12 months ago, as it turned into a sprint. Patrick Mullins rides and he believes the horse has an each way chance, as do I.
I also cannot discount Petit Mouchoir. Rachael Blackmore rides and the big question regarding the Henry De Bromhead horse is the distance. Will he stay? Who knows. However, Identity Thief was tried at 3 miles at Aintree for the same connections last year and was a revelation. Petit Mouchoir was third in a Champion Hurdle and has the class to get involved if his stamina holds out.
Champers On Ice may be well handicapped in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (2.10). This David Pipe trained horse was third in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Hurdle at a novice, before failing to take to fences. He warmed up for this at Haydock and could be well weighted to contend.
Spiritofthegames is the apple of trainer Dan Skelton's eye and has been aimed at the Festival for months. 5th in the County Hurdle last year, he steps up in trip for the 2 and a half mile Festival Plate (4.10) and wears cheekpieces. He has taken well to fences and should be thereabouts.
And it's only a matter of time before top Irish amateur Barry O'Neill rides a Cheltenham Festival winner. He was close on Discorama on Tuesday and if he can get It's All Guesswork into a rhythm in the Kim Muir Chase (5.30), then the horse has the stamina to make the frame.
€500 Charity Bet with thanks to Betfair
2.50 - Monalee - €100 each way at 9/2
3.30 - Bacardys - €30 each way at 12/1 & Petit Mouchoir - €30 each way at 33/1
2.10 - Champers on Ice - €30 each way at 16/1
4.10 - Spiritofthegames - €30 each way at 8/1
5.30 - It's All Guesswork - €30 each way at 9/1
For more Cheltenham tips throughout the remainder of the week, be sure to keep an eye on OfftheBall.com and all of our social channels.