The Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle (4.50) was introduced in 2016, and some other trainers would be forgiven for thinking its existence is to give Willie Mullins' surplus mares an outlet.
Mullins has won all four renewals of the race, and the first three were won by favourites - but anyone bold enough to simply follow the stable blindly in this contest would have been richly rewarded last year when Eglantine Du Seuil took the prize at 50/1 under Noel Fehily.
Priced 96/1 on Betfair, she finished ahead of horses priced 66/1, 40/1, 25/1, 33/1, 50/1 and 100/1 with the favourite, Epatante, finishing ninth at 15/8.
It was a reminder that just about anything can happen in racing, and the horse that finished second that day by a short head, Concertista, gets my vote today at odds of 10/1 or thereabouts.
While Willie Mullins' charge is yet to win outside of France, and failed to set the world alight in a couple of novice races last year following the Festival, she was much improved when making her handicap debut at Leopardstown last month.
She finished third to Gordon Elliott's Black Tears at 10/1, having hit 6/4 in-running on the exchanges. That sort of form could be enough to go one better than last year and win a race like this, with Daryl Jacob booked to ride.
Henry de Bromhead is having a good Festival and Minella Melody is likely to go off as favourite under Rachael Blackmore. Unbeaten in three hurdles including a Grade Three, she's very promising and the only real negative here is her price of 11/4, which is a little short in a 22-runner field. Colreevy, Floressa and Dolcita are others to consider.
I'm a big fan of Paisley Park and have followed Emma Lavelle's gelding for quite some time including in the Stayers' Hurdle last year, and the eight-year-old looks the banker of the day for this year's renewal (3.30), albeit at an odds-on price around 8/13.
Unbeaten in seven races, he's already put a few of these to the sword and he may well become another multiple winner of this race like Big Buck's or Inglis Drever.
It would be nice to see Apple's Jade run well too. An 11-time Grade One winner, Gordon Elliott's mare has been hit and miss in the past year and while she won the Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, she flopped last time out in a Grade Two at Gowran. She'll have to be at her best to win today, which seems a very tall order, and odds of 20/1 are a fair reflection of her chances.
Willie Mullins' old soldier Faugheen would bring the house down if he wins the opening Grade One Marsh Novices' Chase (1.30) and he's worth a bet at 7/2, if nothing else for the chance to be a small part of a great Festival story.
I've been guilty of saying he's too old, but he's continued to make me look foolish and two Grade One victories this term were simply incredible for a horse now aged 12. The 2015 Champion Hurdle winner has embraced his new life over fences with gusto, although he could have a real battle on his hands here with Olly Murphy's Itchy Feet.
I've often been on the wrong side of the book when backing for or against Min, but I'm hoping Willie Mullins' nine-year-old can repay some of my losses in the Ryanair Hurdle (2.50) under Paul Townend. Second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase last time, he's still got a bit to offer and won the Grade One John Durkan previously.
Stat attack: The Ryanair Chase (2.50)
Not everyone is a fan of the Ryanair Chase as some feel it takes away from the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup - but it's not been too bad for punters with just two winners priced in double figures since the race was established in 2005, namely Uxizandre (2015) and Albertas Run (2010).
In total, there have been 40 runners priced 6/1 or less with 12 of those winning, and backing all 40 horses would have produced a profit of 18 points if blindly backed to SP.
On that evidence, it's best to stick with those near the top of the market and, at the time of writing, A Plus Tard (7/4), Min (5/2), Frodon (5/1), and Riders Onthe Storm (7/1) all fit into that bracket.
Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the race with Thisthatandtother (2005), Taranis (2007) and Frodon (2019).
Race-by-race guide to Day 3
Now aged 12, Faugheen (7/2) has found a new lease of life in chases and those of us who dismissed him as too old have been made to pay. He'd be a massively popular winner in the opening race, although Itchy Feet and Samcro won't let him have it all his own way and are major threats.
Answers on a postcard, please. An incredibly difficult 24-runner handicap hurdle to figure out, I'm keeping my money in my wallet. A case could be made for at least half a dozen runners including Sire Du Berlais, Relegate and even outsider Unowhatimeanharry, but I'm leaving this to better brains than mine.
Min (5/2) has never won at Cheltenham before but he's had to live in Altior's shadow and came second in three runs here. Today might be the day, and while he's not the most consistent with a win and loss pattern emerging, he showed plenty of spirit to win the John Durkan Memorial Chase.
For a few years, Big Buck's was the Thursday get-out-of-jail card for those having a bad Festival and I wonder if Paisley Park will become the same. Emma Lavelle's star is unbeaten in seven races, a couple of those at Group One level, and is banker material at 8/13.
Gary Moore's Not Another Muddle gets the each-way vote in this big-field handicap around 20/1. He was fifth in the Grand Annual here last year and we have to take it on trust that Moore has him fit and well as he hasn't been seen in 335 days. But he's raced well after a break before and appears to be treated fairly with a rating of 140.
The new mares' race has become a Willie Mullins benefit although it's not always the fancied runners and Eglantine Du Seuil won it last year at 50/1. I'm keen on Mullins' Concertista around 10/1. Second in this race last year, she ran well in a handicap recently.
A tricky race to finish off the day so I'm going to have two running for me here. Runner-up last year, Kilfilum Cross is worth a punt around 10/1, while the bottom-weight One Style is an interesting entry each-way at 25/1 having now won five handicap races in a row.