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The Ryanair Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt Chase race that typically features on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. At 2 miles 5 furlongs it takes place on the new course and there are 17 fences to jump. The Ryanair Chase is another one of the newer races that was added in 2005 when the Cheltenham Festival was extended to 4 days. Ruby Walsh is the most successful jockey, having won the race 4 times. Notable recent winners include Vautour, Un de Sceaux, Dynaste, Cue Card and Frodon.
The Rynair looks fairly a fairly strong renewal this year, with a few decent looking horses looking like they’ll be heading for this race. Favourites are only 4/12 in this race, but the winner has come from the top 3 in the betting 10/12. 11 of the last 12 winners also finished 1st or 2nd in one of their last 3 starts.
A Plus Tard
A Plus Tard is favourite for this race, but The Northern Gamblers raised an excellent bit of information in one of their preview videos and is well worth watching . A Plus Tard seems favourite because of his victory over Chacun Pour Soi, which came at a time when Willie Mullens yard was considerably underperforming. The suggestion is that the result wasn’t as good as many people would make out. He also missed his prep run at The Dublin Racing Festival due to the ground, although Henry De Bromhead didn’t seem too concerned. He did absolutely bolt up in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase last year by 16 lengths so he has Festival form on his side.
Min looks likely to run here but Cheltenham hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for him over the years. It is true that he’s come up against Altior tall three times he’s raced at The Festival and lost, but his performance last year was probably the worst of them all. It just seems like he doesn’t relish the hill and at 3-1 I don’t see any value in backing him.
Frodon came back to form last time out, winning a hard fought race at Kempton. He’d been disappointing in his previous 2 starts finishing 3rd both times, some way off the pace. Frodon seems to love Cheltenham and has won here 3 times previously. You can bet Paul Nichols will have him prepped well for this race and at 6-1 he’s a great value EW bet and would be my pick for this race.
- 10 of the last 12 winners had won at Cheltenham previously
- 11 of the previous 15 winners were fav or 2nd fav
- 8 of the last 12 winners didn’t win their last race