Road should lead to glory in big-race spectacular
Down Royal's Super Saturday should see Road To Respect triumph in a superb renewal of the Grade One JNWine.com Champion Chase.
The big guns are set to fire with Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary running a quartet, having won the £140,000 feature for the past four years, while JP McManus is doubly represented.
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained More Of That is the preferred mount of McManus's retained rider Barry Geraghty while the ultra talented Mark Walsh - surely a future champion jockey - partners multi Grade One winner Carlingford Lough.
More Of That finished sixth behind Sizing John in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and was still a possible winner when unseating his rider in the Irish Gold Cup in which Carlingford Lough filled fourth.
Ruby Walsh has picked up an excellent spare ride on Sub Lieutenant - winner of the Grade Two Novice Chase at the festival last year.
The Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect - 25/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup - is the pick of the Gigginstown quartet in my opinion and gets the selection, Meade having won the feature in 2014 with Road To Riches.
Road To Respect was a top class novice last season and included a Cheltenham Festival victory in his tally.
The rising star made his seasonal debut last month at Punchestown when landing the feature chase and has fitness on his side.
Our Duke, installed as favourite, is the one to beat after a scintillating performance when winning the Irish Grand National earlier this year for trainer Jessica Harrington having been campaigned with restraint by connections who bypassed Cheltenham.
Harrington said yesterday: "He's had a couple of racecourse gallops and is in great form."
Zabana is a talented chaser certain to win major prizes this season and has the benefit of in-form Davy Russell in the saddle.
Ballyoisin can speed to victory in the supporting feature, the Grade Two Novice Chase, sponsored by MyCarNeedsA.com.
Disko is favourite having beaten Anibale Fly and Our Duke last season prior to finishing third to Yorkhill at Cheltenham.
JP McManus is doubly represented with Anibale Fly and Ballyoisin.
The latter is Barry Geraghty's mount and was impressive when winning at Cork last month for trainer Enda Bolger.
Make no mistake, this is a tough contest with future Cheltenham contenders engaged.
A Toi Phil and Galway Plate winner Balko Des Flos look the main dangers in the contest.
CHAMPION CHASE FORECAST: 1st Road To Respect 2nd Our Duke 3rd Zabana
TODAY'S DOWN ROYAL TIPS: 12.45 Espoir D'Allen 1.20 Dis Donc 1.55 Charlie Stout 2.30 Road To Respect 3.05 Ballyoisin 3.40 William Du Berlais 4.10 Rapid Escape