Impaire Et Passe faces his stiffest task yet
Camprond is badly out of form
Franco De Port not certain to take to Cross-Country fences
The lay of the day, as with Tuesday, is in the opening novices' hurdle - the Ballymore at 13:30.
On what the first five in the market have achieved this season, Impaire Et Passe has no right to be as short as 7/4.
They are all on the up, with Gaelic Warrior officially rated 7lb ahead of Hermes Allen. Champ Kiely, Impaire Et Passe and Good Land are in their slipstream within 3lbs of Hermes Allen.
Gaelic Warrior, you'd have thought, is entitled to go off favourite, especially as he has previous experience of the Festival. He lost out by a short head when favourite for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle last March.
Some might hold that narrow defeat against him but I see the course experience as a positive, just as I do Hermes Allen's course-and-distance success in a trial for this race in November.
Paul Nicholls' runner has since won the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury in a canter and is three from three over hurdles.
Good Land and Champ Kiely have won Grade 1s at Leopardstown and Naas respectively, whereas Impaire Et Passe took a fairly weak Grade 2.
''You can only beat what lines up against you'' is a well-worn cliché, but there was nothing of the calibre of Impaire Et Passe's Ballymore rivals in that race.
I wouldn't read too much into Paul Townend being on my recommended lay and see Impaire Et Passe as the best lay of the day at 2.915/8 on the Exchange.
Camprond has to improve on his fourth 12 months ago
The Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at 14:50 has the maximum 26 runners that safety regulations permit.
Run For Oscar 6/1 and Camprond 13/2 head the market, with HMS Seahorse a point behind. At the off, it could be a different story depending on whether JP McManus wades in heavily on Camprond. His seven-year was fourth 12 months ago before going on to score at the Punchestown Festival in April.
Camprond has been hopelessly out of form since, finishing more than 15 lengths off the winner in three of five races and unseating and being brought down in the other two.
Due to his loss of form, he gets to run off a 2lb lower rating than 12 months ago but has looked pretty cheesed off of late.
Runners starting in single figures don't have a good record in the race. There have been English-trained 5/1 and 9/1 winners in the last decade but five of the 10 have started at odds between 20/1 and 50/1.
Sa Fureur, Riaan, San Salvador, Fil Dor, Benson, and HMS Seahorse all won last time out and come into the race in better form than Camprond.
I appreciate that he is a ''special case'' being owned by JP but it is hard to make any sort of case for him.
I can't see him making the first four and suggest laying him at anything less than 3.711/4.
The Champion Chase is a tough one to call
Energumene and Edwardstone have been vying for favourite ahead of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at 15:30. And that's in spite of them failing to beat Editeur Du Gite in their last two races.
At the last Cheltenham meeting, Editeur Du Gite had a right tussle with Edwardstone, prevailing by a head after a last-fence blunder put an end to Energumene's challenge.
Prior to that, Editeur Du Gite had won the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton by a wide margin from Nube Negra, after Edwardstone, who had started at 2/5, had got rid of Tom Cannon at the fifth fence.
Given those results, a pro would lay the first two in the market as there is little to lose if one wins compared to the potential winnings if neither win. I'll pass, though.
Franco's inexperience makes him a place lay
It's fair to say Willie Mullins does not have a great record in Cross-Country races, whether at Cheltenham, Punchestown, in France at Le Lion d'Angers or in Italy at Merano.
He has managed places here with Shakervilz in 2013 and Uncle Junior in 2015 but nothing before or since. Like Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson his priorities lie elsewhere, which is reasonable enough.
He gives Franco De Port his first crack at this type of race in the Glenfarclas Chase at 16:10. It remains to be seen how the eight-year-old fares over a different type of obstacle to what he has faced to date.
Franco De Port has been highly tried in the last 12 months. Since finishing tailed off in the Irish Grand National in April, he has raced exclusively in Grade 1s and 2s, giving a good account of himself without finishing first or second.
What are we taking Franco De Port on with? Well, there are a number of Cross-Country regulars including Delta Work, Plan Of Attack and Diesel d'Allier - the first, third and fourth 12 months ago.
Back On The Lash has won twice round this course, beating Deise Aba, Delta Work, Mortal, Francky Du Berlais, Snow Leopardess, Plan Of Attack, Easysland and Diesle d'Allier in a handicap in January.
With so many having experience of the idiosyncratic fences, it is worth taking a chance at 3.02/1 that Franco De Port won't be at ease jumping them and will finish out of the places.
Andy Dufresne will do well to justify strong support
Despite being backed from 9/1 in to 4/1 favourite, Andy Dufresne ticks three important boxes as a win lay in the Grand Annual at 16:50.
The nine-year-old is going to start at longer than 3/1, and no favourite longer than those odds won a race here last March. He finished eighth on his last start and all last year's winning favourites had come first or second in their previous race. Lastly, he was beaten three lengths off the same mark 12 months ago, so needs to improve - unlikely as he is a year older.
If he goes off favourite, I'll lay him to win, but he has an undeniable chance of making the first four so laying him for a place at 2.68/5 is risky.
Racing... Only Bettor. Day 2 at Cheltenham. Watch below.