sport

Cue heads Ryanair hopefuls

Last year's winner Cue Card is among 43 entries for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on March 13.

Colin Tizzard's stable star enjoyed a nine-length verdict over First Lieutenant at the 2013 Festival and Mouse Morris' charge is also entered again.

However, both horses also hold engagements in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Cue Card has tackled longer distances in his last two starts, winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock and then finishing second to Silviniaco Conti in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

There is a formidable 20-strong Irish entry, though several horses hold alternative engagements at the Festival.

They include six from the Willie Mullins stable - Arvika Ligeonniere, Boston Bob, Marito, Prince De Beauchene, Rupert Lamb and Twinlight.

Among other Irish possibles are Last Instalment, who is shortly due to return from injury, Benefficient and Hidden Cyclone.

Nicky Henderson's team includes the 2012 winner Riverside Theatre, Captain Conan, Kid Cassidy and Hunt Ball, a Festival winner in 2012 and back after a spell in America.

The home contingent features other smart sorts such as Al Ferof, Dynaste, Menorah and Rolling Aces.