Noel Fehily: I'm hopeful than Neon Wolf can give me another great day at Cheltenham
NEON Wolf gives me one of my best chances of the week in the opening race of day two at Cheltenham, the Neptune Novices Hurdle.
I don't think I have ever been as excited about a horse going to the Festival as I was about him after I got off him when he won at Haydock in January.
That was only his third run under Rules – all in the space of less than seven weeks – and his progress has been quite spectacular to say the least.
He did have an entry in yesterday's Supreme Novices Hurdle, but that was only in case the ground came up a complete bog.
As it turns out, it's almost the complete opposite, with drying weather meaning it's quite possible that the going will be good, good to soft by the start of racing today.
With no rain due until Friday, it's only going to get quicker but I'm hopeful that there'll still be enough juice in it for Neon Wolf.
If the ground is OK and he can reproduce the form of his Haydock run in January he would have a massive chance today.
We knew he was good before Haydock but we didn't think he could put up that sort of performance over two miles at a flat track because he looks every inch a three-mile chaser and won his point-to-point bumper very well before winning his three races in 47 days over hurdles.
The occasion won't be a bother for him either. He is a six-year-old and definitely mature enough to handle it. He goes through the motions at home and needs a day like today to get his blood up and show what he's made of.
He jumps, stays and has a good turn of foot. He has a bit of everything so he's just the kind of horse you want on your side.
Bacardys, from the Willie Mullins yard, would be the biggest threat in my eyes. He had very good Bumper form last year, including winning the big one at Aintree.
I don't have a ride in the RSA Chase today, but I'd be very keen on the chances of Nicky Henderson adding to his two winners from yesterday with Whisper.
The drying ground will suit him very well, as it did when he won the Coral Cup here at the 2014 Festival. He was a very good hurdler and although he has come to chasing a little late in his career and is the oldest horse in the field, I like his chances of becoming the oldest horse since Minnehoma in 1992 to win this race.
It's also in his favour that his two wins over fences have come at the track and, in a competitive race, I'll side with him each way.
Neil Mulholland's Kalondra seeks to emulate Whisper by winning the Coral Cup today with me on board.
He won well for me at Huntingdon last time out and went up 11lb.
I really hope that's not too much of a hike but he's improved all year and is still improving. Best I can say is he has an each way chance, but in a race like the Coral Cup luck-in-running is obviously a big factor.
Same comments apply to my mount in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle, Divin Bere. He also impressed at Huntingdon, when I rode him and he beat Master Blueyes despite giving him 4lb.
Master Blueyes franked the form by winning well at Kempton next time out and is at the top of market for Friday's Triumph Hurdle, so on form Divin Bere is the one to beat.
Even though he will carry top weight, I still think he could be a well handicapped horse in this company.
There's not a great deal to say about the feature race of the day, other than that if Douvan stands up he wins and the rest are playing for the places.
I ride Special Tiara for Henry de Bromhead and we are looking for a third consecutive placing in this race.
He will go from the front, as usual, and if behind him something happens to Douvan then hopefully he can burn the rest off, as they are all pretty evenly matched.
My ride in the Bumper is Quick Grabim and the drying ground is a big plus for him. The form of his Leopardstown win at the end of December is very good.
Robbie McNamara sent him over to Exeter for a bumper last month, where I rode him.
He was disappointing when favourite that day, but in hindsight Exeter might not have been the course for him and back on a left-handed track today there'd be worse each way bets, though the Bumper is the Bumper and you'll probably hear a word for every horse in the race at some stage over the course of the day.