Gordon Elliott continues into day three of the Cheltenhan Festival with 10 runners at the helm. He has the lowdown on them all here...
"He was once a very smart novice chaser and he has come down the ratings a bit so I'm hoping that if he can get back to the level he was at he will run well."
Slower ground could suit
13:30 - Mengli Khan
You would have to say that he's been disappointing over fences so far. As a novice hurdler, he was a solid Grade 1 horse and we hoped that he would prove at least as good over fences. I was delighted with him when he won first time out over fences at Punchestown but he disappointed us at Leopardstown over Christmas and did the same back there last month.
I know he has the ability to be a Grade 1 horse but it's a question of him putting his best foot forward. Possibly he wants slower ground than he has been racing on so the switch to a slower surface here could help him and we're trying a new trip too as maybe he might be more comfortable going two and a half miles at this stage of his career. He's got the ability to run well and I'm just hoping that we will see the real Mengli Khan.
Two chances to get involved in the Pertemps
14.10 - A Toi Phil and Sire Du Berlais
I had been hoping for a better season from A Toi Phil but he seemed to lose his way so we decided to switch him back to hurdles to see would that help him and he did finish off very well to take fourth in a Punchestown qualifier for this race a few weeks ago. That run told us that he still retains his ability but that he may now be more comfortable over longer trips. This test will suit him well and his Punchestown run suggested that there will be few horses in the race finishing off as well as him so hopefully we will see him getting involved late on. He's got an each way chance.
Sire Du Berlais ran very well at this meeting last year when he finished fourth in the Martin Pipe. Owing to the ground he has had a relatively light campaign and he hasn't run since finishing sixth in a qualifier at Leopardstown over Christmas. He's in good shape and has shown in the past that he can run well fresh so I'm not too concerned about a two and a half month absence from the track. He should run well.
Solid horse but Ryanair will be a tough one
14:50 - The Storyteller
The Storyteller has run some solid races this season without winning. We've been trying him over three miles lately but possibly a strongly run race at this trip is what will bring out the best in him and he was very good over this course and distance last season when he won the Festival Plate. This looks a strong Ryanair and our horse is going to have to be at his best to make his presence felt. However, a strong pace and some ease in the ground will play to his strengths and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he were to outrun his odds.
Black Tears could outrun her odds
16:50 - Black Tears and Tintangle
Black Tears will have to improve on what she has shown so far but I've a feeling that she could outrun her odds. She was a very good mare in bumpers last season and the form she showed then would indicate that she should be up to holding her own in graded company over jumps. After a pleasing comeback she was a bit disappointing at Down Royal before then winning nicely a Fairyhouse. She's a talented mare who has yet to produce her best as a hurdler and she might surprise a few here.
Tintangle hasn't reached the heights that we hoped she would as a hurdler. She has won a reasonable race at Thurles and ran respectably against geldings in a Grade 1 at Christmas but she's also suffered a couple of falls. Much like Black Tears, she was very good in bumpers but she hasn't reached that level as a hurdler and we're hoping for the best here but she looks up against it.
Measureofmydreams could make a comeback
17:30 - Out Sam, Measureofmydreams, Rogue Angel and Its All Guesswork
Out Sam is a very solid contender and he has posted several good efforts this season. He won the Cork National, he did best of our horses when fifth in the Troytown and his latest fourth in the Thyestes was another good run in a high class handicap. He is a solid and consistent handicapper who has been holding his form well this season and I think this race will be run to suit him. The easing in the ground is going to work in his favour.
Measureofmydreams is possibly the pick of ours here and he's been going really well at home since making his comeback at Fairyhouse last month which was his first run for almost two years. He was once a very smart novice chaser and he has come down the ratings a bit so I'm hoping that if he can get back to the level he was at he will run well. We have Jamie Codd on board which is great and the horse did run very well in the four miler here a few years ago which is also encouraging.
Rogue Angel was busy through the autumn so we decided to give him a break after Christmas with a view to coming straight here. He is a former Irish National winner and showed that another good handicap could come his way when he was placed in the Cork and Kerry Nationals earlier this season. He was eighth in the Paddy Power last time but he did run much better than his position there would suggest and I think he could be dangerous if he gets into a nice rhythm up front.
Its All Guesswork is in great form and I was really pleased with his comeback run at Punchestown in a Pertemps Qualifier last month. For a horse with relatively little experience he was running very well in the Munster National in October only to fall at the last and that run would suggest he could win a big handicap. He's got a good chance and there's more to come from him.
Best Chance - 17:30 Measureofmydreams