Ryanair Chase


The Ryanair Chase made its debut at the Cheltenham festival in 2005.

Run over 2m5f this grade one chase is seen as an easier alternative to the Gold Cup but has attracted quality fields in its first nine runnings.

Bet 365Back any single winner at 4/1 or more on a race televised live on Channel 4 and you can have a risk free bet to the same stake on the next live Channel 4 race. See Bet 365 website for full details



Ryanair Chase Trends

9/9had no more than four runs since October
9/9 had an official rating of at least 152
8/9had previous winning form at Cheltenham
8/9came from the first three in the betting market
8/9had winning form at 2m 5f or above
7/9had a top three finish last time out


Ryanair Analysis

The Paddy Power and the December Gold Cup used to be the first port of call for trends followers for this race but the quality of the Ryanair field is improving every year and it might not be a coincidence that the last four runnings have not been covered by that stat.

Winning form at 2m 5f looks a definite requirement with only the first winner of the race, Thisthatandtother, not ticking that trend box.

As with many of the races at the Cheltenham Festival course winning form also looks to be advisable with only 2012 winner Riverside Theatre not having previously scored at the course.

Ryanair Chase Last Nine Winners


Table below shows the last nine winners of the race, their age at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).
YearHorseAge/WgtTrainerJockeyPrice
2013Cue Card7-11-10C TizzardJ Tizzard7/2
2012Riverside Theatre8-11-10N HendersonB Geraghty7/2F
2011Albertas Run10-11-10JJ ONeillAP McCoy6/1
2010Albertas Run9-11-10JJ ONeillAP McCoy14/1
2009Imperial Commander8-11-10N Twiston-DaviesP Brennan6/1
2008Our Vic10-11-10D PipeT Murphy4/1
2007Taranis6-11-0P NichollsR Walsh9/2
2006Fondmort10-11-0N HendersonM Fitzgerald10/3JF
2005Thisthatandtother10-11-3P NichollsR Walsh20/1



Ryanair Preview

The class of the type of winner required for the Ryanair has been steadily improving from top grade handicapper to the horses just below Gold Cup and Champion Chase standard.

The key to ante-post bets in this race is finding a horse where this race is definitely the target. In too many cases this will be one of a number of options as connections decide between Champion Chase and Gold Cup alternatives or maybe even a handicap.

Ryanair Chase Tips

The Ryanair Chase is a race that tends to be dominated by horses at the head of the market and it could well be that this year continues that trend.

Dyanste, Al Ferof and BENEFFICIENTare the three horses who are attracting the most attention as it looks increasingly likely that last year’s runner-up First Lieutenant is likely to run in the Gold Cup.

Al Ferof was the impressive winner of 2012 Paddy Power but since then an injury and an attempt to stretch his stamina to three miles has meant he has not been seriously tested over this distance since. Paul Nicholls is convinced 2m 5f is Al Ferof’s optimum distance and his chance is enhanced by the fact that a number of recent Ryanair winners have been beaten in that season’s King George.

Personally I find it difficult to fancy a horse for any Cheltenham race who has seriously underperformed in their last race before the Festival. Even given the excuses regarding trip and ground, his last run behind Harry Topper at Newbury was a major disappointment and I would worry if his season has been compromised by having such a tough race last time out.

Similarly I would find it difficult to be confident about the chances of Dynaste. He ran a shocker in the King George and has apparently had treatment on his back following that race. Whilst he may be the most talented horse in the race backing him to reach that level of form here seems a major risk in my opinion.

In the circumstances the horse to focus on is BENEFFICIENT.

Winner of the JLT last year, when comfortably accounting for an allegedly under par Dynaste, BENEFFICIENTis a three time Grade One winner, has excellent form at the course, should have no problems with any ground conditions and appears to have less questions to answer than his opponents.


Trainer Tony Martin said this about BENEFFICIENT recently:

“I'm happy with him and am very keen to go to the Ryanair, I don't really want to come down in trip with him. Two-miles-five round Cheltenham is ideal."

Back BENEFFICIENT at 4/1 with Bet 365, best odds guaranteed and non-runner no bet

Bet 365Back any single winner at 4/1 or more on a race televised live on Channel 4 and you can have a risk free bet to the same stake on the next live Channel 4 race. See Bet 365 website for full details


Ryanair Chase Odds


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