Cheltenham Update: Paul Townend hopes to ‘Fly’ home in the Ryanair Chase

Paul Townend has decided to chose Min instead of Allaho for the 14 declared runners in the Ryanair Chase.

Rachel Blackmore will take the reins on Allaho this Thursday, who has been the ante-post favourite since winning a Grade Two at Thurles last time out. However, Townend, opted for the tried and trusted Min.

Melon, also trained by Willie Mullins will be partnered by Bryan Cooper. Melon has finished second at the Festival over the last four years. Danny Mullins will ride a fourth Mullins contender, Tornado Flyer, in the same race.

Gavin Sheehan will ride Saint Calvados for the Harry Whittington yard who was only beaten in a photo by Min, 12 months ago.

Kim Bailey’s Imperial Aura won at the meeting last season and began his season in great style, winning at Carlisle and Ascot, but has been absent since an early departure at Kempton.

Dashel Drasher was a popular winner of the Ascot Chase for Jeremy Scott and Matt Griffiths, and will aim to add another Grade One to his tally.

Samcro, a dual Festival winner, needs to bounce back to his best for Denise Foster – while Chris’s Dream represents Henry de Bromhead.

Fakir D’oudairies (Joseph O’Brien), Fanion D’Estruval (Venetia Williams), Kalashnikov (Amy Murphy), Mister Fisher (Nicky Henderson) and Real Steel (Paul Nicholls) have all been declared too.

Check out our selections for the First Day’s racing on our website: www.yeowsa.co.uk

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