AS with the Champion Hurdle, the Ryanair sees a defending champion arriving at the top of his game, but Un De Sceaux is probably a lot more vulnerable than Buveur D’Air despite winning the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in his final prep run.

There was very little wrong with that performance, and favourite backers will point to the fact that the former tearaway looked more relaxed than has been the case there. He initially settled in behind runners in last year’s Ryanair, but soon got bored of being obedient and carted Ruby Walsh to the front after a couple of fences.