The Big Breakway ran well yesterday but there was to be no getting away from Envoi Allen who certainly franked his form as the best novice hurdler around at the moment.
When we walk into Cheltenham on Tuesday we all start on zero and it's hard to get off the mark here. I'm under no illusions how difficult it is to ride winners at this meeting as you need a lot of things to go right.
I came here at the start of the week with a good book of rides and I'm still looking forward to the second half of the week. When you see Willie Mullins having to wait until the bumper yesterday for his first winner it just tells you how tough it is.
Day three begins for me on a Grade One winner and a Grade One winner who hopefully safes his best for the spring of the year.
RESERVE TANK (1.30, Cheltenham) didn't run at the Cheltenham Festival last year but went on to win at the highest level at Aintree and Punchestown and hopefully this is just a time of year when he shines.
We won a Grade Two over fences at Wincanton earlier this season and then he was second in another Grade Two on the way to here and while he will need to improve a bit on his chasing form so far, I can see more to come from him.
The heart of so many racing fans will love to see Faugheen and Samcro in this race as well. Few people would begrudge Faugheen winning a Grade One at Cheltenham at twelve years of age and I don't see a reason why he can't.
For me, Faugheen is the horse to beat still, he has always had the class throughout his entire career and whatever beats him will win in my opinion. I'm hoping, at this time of year it can be Reserve Tank.
I don't ride the Pertemps Final but there is a former Cheltenham Festival winner sneaking into this race and THE STORYTELLE R (2.10, Cheltenham) is the horse I'd want to be on if I had a ride in it.
The Storyteller reverted back to hurdles for his second start of this season and then went to Leopardstown for a qualifier for this race. To qualify for this race you must finish in the first six of a qualifier and he did just that at Leopardstown.
The handicapper hasn't missed him and he is up near the head of the weights but he is a winner on the track and that is a help in a wide open race like this.
O n to the Ryanair Chase and I've picked up a nice spare ride on last year's Arkle Chase winner Duc Des Genievres.
I think the softer the ground the better for Duc Des Genievres and I would be hoping that he can find his way back into the first four and that famous winners enclosure. The 2m5f trip around here will be a big plus for my lad, I think.
It's a hot renewal of the race though and the last day I rode Duc Des Genievres we finished behind MIN (2.50, Cheltenham) and I think Min is the horse to beat again.
It was a shame yesterday that Chacun Pour Soi didn't get to line up in the Champion Chase and he was my fancy for that race so I would rate Min's form with Chacun Pour Soi very highly.
Min has enjoyed many good days but I think this could be his day in the sun at the Cheltenham Festival.
A Plus Tard will turn it into a tough test and it is a very good race again but Min looks the standard setter.
Most people are probably in agreement about the Stayers Hurdle revolving around PAISLEY PARK (3.30, Cheltenham).
Last year's winner is back again but he does look to be head and shoulders above the rest in the staying division at this stage and it would be a massive surprise if he is beaten.
One horse who might be worth considering at a big price is Ronald Pump. I rode this horse in a couple of novice chases and connections have decided to let him take his chance here in this race which maybe worth a punt.
I'd say he is going to be ridden cold and to finish late and he could just pick off a few in the latter stages and reward each-way punters.
Next up is the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, the race won by the aforementioned The Storyteller a couple of years ago, and I'm not without a chance here on VISION DES FLOS (4.10. Cheltenham).
This fella might not be the most straightforward at all times and sometimes he doesn't help himself. Some of this lads form is very good. He had a couple of good runs behind Top Notch and Champ and he's back in handicap company here.
If things go right for us today, this horse has loads of talent and I don't think I'd be swapping him.
I've picked up a nice spare ride in the Grade Two Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle on DOLCITA (4.50, Cheltenham).
As I have said before, riding for Willie Mullins at these meetings is always a plus and this mare was very impressive on her first start for Willie at Tramore.
She'll have to improve on her last run when third behind two of today's rivals, Minella Melody and Colreevy, but I most certainly think she is open to that improvement. I thought looking at her that day in Fairyhouse that she looked a little inexperienced so if she comes on for that run as you would expect her to, I think Dolcita will be there or thereabouts.
Minella Melody remains the horse to beat, but I'm really looking forward to riding Dolcita.
Jamie Codd had to buy the dinner in our house on Tuesday and he has a chance again today in the last on Le Breuil, but I'll go with FITZHENRY (5.30, Cheltenham) for Paul Nolan, Patrick Mullins and JP McManus.
1.30 RESERVE TANK
2.10 THE STORYTELLER
3.30 PAISLEY PARK
4.10 VISION DE FLOS