Cheltenham Festival 2018: Un De Sceaux heads the entries for the Ryanair Chase as 14 horses remain in contention

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UN DE SCEAUX heads a field of 14 horses left in contention for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Willie Mullins’ chaser won the race last year and is the favourite to successfully defend his crown at Prestbury Park.

 Un De Sceaux is back to defend his crown

Getty Images

Un De Sceaux is back to defend his crown

Mullins has also left in Bachasson, Djakadam, Douvan, Min, Yorkhill and Benie Des Dieux.

The potential Irish challenge is completed by Henry de Bromhead’s pair of Sub Lieutenant and Balko Des Flos.

Ruth Jefferson has decided against running stable star Waiting Patiently, but is still set to be represented by the ultra-consistent Cloudy Dream.

Jefferson said: “He’s absolutely bouncing at the moment. He’d probably prefer better ground, but he does have form with cut in the ground.

 Cloudy Dream will run for Ruth Jefferson

PA: Press Association

Cloudy Dream will run for Ruth Jefferson

“None of us know what the ground is going to be like at this stage. There’s some rain forecast over the weekend and then a few showers at the start of the next week, so we’ll just have to wait and see which way it goes.

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“It could be good ground or it could be heavy. It is what it is. I’m not too worried about it, to be honest.”

Colin Tizzard’s popular veteran Cue Card, The Paul Nicholls-trained pair of Frodon and Le Prezien and L’Ami Serge from Nicky Henderson’s yard are the other possibles.

Excited dog joins horse race at Cheltenham and keeps up with the pack

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