Albertas Run will attempt Ryanair Chase title defence

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Reigning champion Albertas Run is one of 14 declared for Thursday’s Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jonjo O’Neill’s charge has been off the track since winning at Aintree last October but he will be going in search of a third successive win in the two-mile-five-furlong contest.

Nicky Henderson’s Riverside Theatre made a fantastic return to action after a spell on the sidelines when victorious at Ascot last month, where the reopposing Medermit was second and Little Josh was pulled up.

Ireland have two strong challengers in Robbie Hennessy’s Rubi Light, who was third last year, and the Paul Nolan-trained Noble Prince, winner of the Jewson in 2011.

Other Irish contenders include Forpadydeplasterer, Willie Mullins’ Blazing Tempo and the Noel Meade-trained Realt Dubh, although he is due to run in Wednesday’s Champion Chase over two miles.

Last year’s second Kalahari King tries his luck for Ferdy Murphy again while Henrietta Knight relies on Somersby, winner of the Victor Chandler Chase last time.

David Pipe’s Great Endeavour is also in the line-up, along with last year’s fourth Poquelin, who represents Paul Nicholls, and Captain Chris from the Philip Hobbs stable.

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