One of the races of the week, and a fascinating conundrum to solve. Is Shishkin really as deadly over 2m 4+? Are his hiccups behind him? Watch this space ..

Ryanair Chase 2023 Tips

  • Janadil each-way – 7/1

You know it’s a good ‘un when a look at the roll of honour is a must. How about the likes of Cue Card, Min, Vautour, Imperial Commander? It’s a rattling good test. Need a bit more than the Champion trip? Gold Cup a bridge too far? Then dial-in a tilt at the Ryanair ..

The Souede/Munir flyer Blue Lord put in a rare tame display last time (early Feb) at Leopardstown, at 4s-on. Ouch. Willie Mullins will hopefully have freshened him up, after jockey Paul Townend described his performance as ‘flat.’

Willie has another dart to throw in the JP-owned Janadila Red Mills winner at Gowran in February. Second in this to Allaho last term, and will have his supporters at around 7/1. Allaho is sadly side-lined, or would have been attempting a three-timer.

Fury Road for Elliott/Russell keeps very good company, and has an undeniable squeak. Seeing a Cheltenham fence for the first time, as previous outings here have been over hurdles.

Now then – this race in all candour spins around where you stand on the Shishkin debate. Supreme Novice hurdle winner. Brilliant Arkle success the following year. And then … last term’s blowout when hot favourite for the Champion Chase.

Bombed on reappearance in the Tingle Creek, had a wind op, then sluiced up in the Ascot Chase, in February, over 2m 5f. Really impressive. So – is it the extra yardage that’s revitalised the champ? Or has he simply regained his mojo, with a little help from the medics? Certainly is the top-rated combatant, 7lbs or more ahead of the pack.

This target was thought more appropriate than the Champion, and it’s going to be absolutely fascinating to see how he fares. On his last ill-fated ‘Champion’ run, soft ground was cited as a potential reason for the lack-lustre performance. That’s likely to prevail once again this week.

It’s for this reason that I’m reluctantly looking elsewhere. If a tip-top Shishkin appears he can whizz in, of course he can, but at a shade of odds-on I’m going for an each-way option instead.

Janadil is around the 7/1 mark, and will carry my little investment each-way, looking to match or improve last year’s terrific effort.

Selection – Janadil each-way.

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