The Ryanair Chase is a hotly contested Grade 1 at the intermediate trip for classy chasers and has thrown up some incredibly talented winners since it’s inauguration in 2005 including Vautour and Un De Sceaux, both trained by Willie Mullins, in the last two years. This is always a very interesting contest and looks no different this year, we’ll dig in to some key statistics and trends to help pick out the winner and you can also read our Ryanair Chase tips.
Ryanair Chase Trends
- Some ages do particularly well – 9 of the last 10 winners have been aged between seven and ten
- Cheltenham form is vital – 8 of the last 10 winners had won at Cheltenham before
- Grade 1 form also key – 7 of the last 10 winners had won a Grade 1 chase before
- Classy types often succeed – 8 of the last 10 winners have been rated 161 or higher
- English horses dominate – English trained horses have won 11 of the 13 renewals
Trends – Key Runners
Un De Sceaux ✅✅✅✅❌
Waiting Patiently ✅❌✅✅✅
Top Notch ✅❌✅✅✅
Balko Des Flos ✅❌❌✅❌
Cloudy Dream ✅❌❌❌✅
Last year’s winner Un De Sceaux looks to make it three in a row for Willie Mullins in this race and does well in all the trends here, he is a brilliant jumper who loves it round Cheltenham and can often get some high class horses out of their comfort zone with the way he runs so he looks to have a proper chance of being the second horse two win the race twice, with Albertas Run the other.
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh finally got on the scoresheet in this race when Vautour bounded up the hill in great style to win two years ago and they tightened their grip last year with Un De Sceaux. He pulled his way to the front early on but jumped flawlessly and stayed on powerfully up the hill in mightily impressive fashion, he is a horse of serious talent and consistency so looks to be a solid enough favourite at this stage and it’d be a shock were he not to be involved at the finish this year having won his two starts this year by a combined thirty-two lengths.
Waiting Patiently stamped himself as a real contender for this race when winning the Ascot Chase in great style from the valiant Cue Card last time out but Ruth Jefferson has given punters no real confidence that he will turn up on the day. The Jefferson team don’t seem overly interested in going to Cheltenham if the conditions aren’t completely perfect so it may be wise to hold fire until the day though he is now the highest rated horse in the field and would be a wildly interesting contender were he to rock up in March.
The entries for this are often dependent on what goes to the Gold Cup and Champion Chase so there are a few other contenders which may not run but would be huge contenders if lining up. Min looks more likely to go for the two mile showpiece at this stage but would have to be feared if sent here and Douvan was well supported recently despite a long layoff following positive bulletins from Rich Ricci and Patrick Mullins, both look relatively unlikely winners but would have a great chance of turning up.
Balko Des Flos was an easy winner of the Galway Plate on decent ground at the start of the season and looked a horse of some potential when taking that contest, he was a massive price when second in the Lexus Chase last time out and is now rated 164 which puts him just a few pounds short of the principals here, he looks to enjoy better ground which is a slight negative, apart from that he looks to be a real contender. Benie Des Dieux has looked a talented mare on her first three wins in Ireland and Britain but is now being targeted at the Mares’ hurdle and Cloudy Dream doesn’t always put it in during a tight finish so though they would have outside chances they may not have the class to win, similar comments in terms of class apply to Bachasson, who looks to be heading to the Gold Cup instead.
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