• Ryanair Chase

    The last six winners either 'made all' or 'tracked leaders'

    No six yr old winner in the last 12

    Last thirteen winners had all raced at a previous Festival

    None of the last twelve more than four previous runs that season

    Ten of the last thirteen had already won a G1 chase

    12 of the last 13 were rated 161+

    None of the last four winners contested that season's King George

    Irish trained have won four of the last five

    No horse has finished 2nd in 4 Festival G1s and then win one.

    Ten the last thirteen were course winners

    Last seven winners were French bred

    Nine from the last ten no bigger than 8/1


    13 Jan - 50 entries


    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 5 furlongs. Upgraded to Grade 1 in 2008. All carry 11st 10lbs. Mares get 7lbs. Nearly £200k to the winner


    Usually need winning and top quality course chase form in order to win or be second. Aged 7, 8, 9 yrs or called Min. Proven over trip. No recent Ascot Chase or Peterborough Chases double since 2013 but Ascot Chase winners rarely come now. Not more than 4 runs since October. Top three finish last time unless unplaced in King George or first time headgear. Winner to be rated 160+ and FRE Bred. Has won at least one G1 race or at least one major handicap. All placed at least rated 155. Not blinkered all the time or beaten fav last time. Being 'up with the pace' or 'tracking leaders' has been important. Fat one due?

  • Honours Board

    Year||| Form||| Winner||| Age||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Runners||| Last race (No of days)

    2020||| 321||| Min||| 9||| 169||| 2/1 ||| W Mullins(IRE)||| P Townend||| 8||| 2nd G1 Leop. Dublin Ch 2m 1f (40)

    2019||| 1211||| Frodon||| 7 |||169||| 9/2||| P Nicholls||| B Frost||| 12||| 1st G2 Cotswold Ch 3m 2f (47)

    2018||| 1232 |||Balko des Flos||| 7 |||166||| 8/1||| H de Bromhead(IRE)||| D Russell |||6 |||2nd G1 Leop. Ch 3m (78)

    2017||| 1611 |||Un de Sceaux |||9||| 171||| 7/4F |||W Mullins(IRE)||| R Walsh |||8||| 1st G1 Chelt Ch 2m (47)

    2016||| 12||| Vautour |||7||| 176 |||EvensF |||W Mullins(IRE)||| R Walsh |||15 |||2nd G1 Kemp. King George (82)

    2015||| 418U |||Uxizandre||| 7||| 161||| 16/1||| A King |||AP McCoy |||14||| UR G2 Newbury Game Spirit (33)

    2014 |||25||| Dynaste |||8||| 169||| 3/1F||| D Pipe |||T Scudamore||| 11 |||5th G1 Kempton King George (77)

    2013 |||151 |||Cue Card||| 7 |||165||| 7/2 |||C Tizzard||| J Tizzard |||8||| 1st G1 Ascot Chase 2m 5f (26)

    2012||| 1211 |||Riverside Theatre||| 8 |||168||| 7/2F||| N Henderson||| B Geraghty||| 12||| 1st G1 Ascot Ch 2m 5f (26)

    2011||| 4FP||| Albertas Run||| 10||| 166||| 6/1 |||JJ O'Neill |||AP McCoy||| 11 |||PU G1 Kemp. King George (61)


    First run in 2005. First three years only a G2. Now going 13 years as a G1.


    CHELTENHAM FORM THAT SEASON - First three winners and the runners up in ’05 and ’06 ran in the Paddy Power and December Gold Cups. Frodon returned to that stat by running in both and winning the G3 Caspian Caviar from Cepage off a rating of 164.


    In 2008 first year as a Grade 1, Old Vic was a previous Grade 2 Course winner and 2nd in this '07 before winning it in '08. '09 Imperial Commander had won Paddy Power. In 2010 Albertas Run was a previous RSA winner. He beat Poquelin who in turn was the previous seasons December H'cap chase winner. 2011 Albertas beat Kalahari King who had been previously placed in a Queen Mother and an Arkle. 2012 Riverside Theatre had won the Ascot G1 Betfair Chase. 2013 Cue Card won Haldon G2 and Ascot G1 Chase. Was a previous Festival Bumper and course G2 Nov Hurdle winner.


    2014 Dynaste had won a Feltham and been 2nd in a JLT, then a G2. 2015 Uxizandre had been previous 2nd in G1 JLT at Festival and course listed chase winner. 2016 Vautour had won a Neptune and a Punchestown G1 Hurdle before a G1 JLT, a G2 Ascot chase then 2nd to Cue Card in the King George. In 2017, Un De Sceaux, well Un De Sceaux had only won the 7 G1s, an Arkle, a Tingle Creek, a couple of Clarence Houses. In his wake that year was Uxizandre and a couple of G2 winners. 2018 Balko Des Flos eased past Un De Sceaux, the rest nowhere. Had won a Galway Plate and been second in the G1 3m Leopardstown Savills Ch at Christmas.


    2019 - Frodon was a warrior all season. In 2018 Had taken the 2m 4f G3 course handicap in January before third in the Ascot Chase and then running a poor 5th here behind Balko Des Flos. in the 18/19 season he finished 2nd in the Betvictor, wins Caspian Caviar, then the Cotswold before repelling Aso and a very strong field in this. In each of his three wins that season he wasn't fancied by the scribes. In order, Caspian '164 too much weight', Cotswold 'won't stay.' Ryanair 'not classy enough, now needs further, run him in GC.' Frodon had won four G2 chases. Thank you, Frodon and Bryony.


    2020 - Min came from a 2nd to Chacun Pour Soi in DRF Dublin 2m 1f Chase. Had previously ran in four G1s over 2m 4f winning three and finishing second in the other beaten a neck by Politologue at Aintree. A Plus Tard was the 7/4 favourite last year in this. His best 2m 4f form on offer had been to win the 2019 Close Bros Nov H'cap Ch. (JEEZ!)


    Since the upgrade to G1, Frodon, Balko Des Flos and Imperial Commander of the 131 winners had previously failed to win a G1 race.


    Apart from Min, Riverside Theatre and Balko, all the other winners of this as a G1 were course winners. All ten had run at the Festival before. Nine of the ten had won a course chase plus Cue Card who had 'only' been second in an Arkle to Sprinter Sacre. He was a G1 Festival Bumper winner and was 4th in a Supreme Novice. Min would have had won twice at the Festival if it hadn't been for a horse called Altior. Riverside Theatre had been 5th in an Arkle before suffering an injury the year before his win in this. Balko des Flos was running rightly in Yorkhill's JLT before falling 4 out.
    Horses that finish 2nd - 2013 First Lieutenant in second to Cue Card had won a G1 Neptune. He along with Sub Lieutenant, Valseur Lido, Kalahari King, Mossbank and Hidden Cyclone are the only other runners up from 15 not to have won a course chase. That's 6 of them. Aso had won the G3 Jan 1st handicap Sub Lieutenant, previously 2nd to Sizing John in the Kinloch Brae. Mossbank was 2nd in an Irish Hennessey in previous run, Hidden Cyclone had been 3rd in a Paddy Power. Both had previously won G2s. Kalahari King previous G1 winner. 2015 Ma Filleule in 2nd previous 2nd in 3m Ultima H'Cap Chase. 2016 Valseur Lido had fallen with an Irish Gold Cup at his mercy. Had been third to Vautour the 2015 JLT. Aso, 2nd to Frodon, fell at the last in the 2020 Virtual Grand National when glory was his for the taking. A cruel sport, sometimes.
    THOSE THAT HAVE TRIED - Melon's current Festival record is 2222, all in G1s. He may yet win one. Smad Place (Festivals 2011-17) G1 placed in three consecutive Festivals but never finished better than 8th afterwards. Should have won more races, especially if had been allowed to front run. Somersby (Festivals 2009-17) ran 8 times in March getting placed in 4 G1s without winning, a Supreme, an Arkle and later on, 2 QMs. Some horse. Fair Along (Festivals 2006-13) in 2007 even ran down the field in the County Hurdle three days after finishing a gallant 2nd to My Way de Solzen in the Arkle. The Hobbs machine achieved placings of 223 in G1s in three consecutive Festivals but his best finish after that was only 4th in an Ultima. Wouldn't you loved to have owned him?   This stat possibly a little obtuse if you recall Adam Kondrat RIP finishing 3rd, 4th, 2nd then won a GC on The Fellow in 1994. Some said Adam may not have been the best around Cheltenham. Politologue has gone 20th/4th/4th/2nd before winning the QM on his fifth Festival visit. His three runs 2017-19 were in G1s having originally started in the Coral Cup. In mainly handicaps, Uncle Ernie went 2243 and then won a Grand Annual. Similarly The Package P243, then succeeded in a Kim Muir. Sea Pigeon went 42211 in Champion Hurdles, his last spectacular win being in 1980. (As an aside, Discorama's current record is 223, two of which were in handicaps).
    8 of the last 11 had finished in the first two in a Festival race. Not Frodon, Balko nor Riverside Theatre. Min, twice.
    All the last thirteen were proven over the trip. Some further. Seven runners had ran in the 3m Sefton, three won. Imperial Commander, Uxizandre and Balko des Flos.
    Five of the last eight were second season chasers, bar Min, Frodon and Un De Sceaux.
    MELON - An admirable performer who has finished 2nd in G1s in each of the last four Festivals. Can't find a horse who has done that and then won one on their 5th attempt.

    Previous course winners outnumber non-course winners only 90-76 as runners. 6-2 last year, 7-5 in 2019, 4-3 2018, 3-5 in 2017, 8-7 in 2016. Love that pointless stuff.

    Last 13 winners aged 7 to 10 years. But Albertas Run 2011 last winner aged older than nine. Min and Un De Sceaux was a 9 yr olds. Apart from those two, the last seven winners aged 7 or 8 yrs. No 6 yr old winner since Taranis in 2007.


    Since became G1 in 2008 all winners bar Imperial Commander rated in the 160s at least. Min 170 Frodon 169, Balko Des Flos 166, Un De Sceaux 171, Vautour 176, Uxizandre 161, Dynaste 169 Cue Card 165 Our Vic 165, Albertas 162 and 166, Riverside Theatre 168.


    Aso 3rd 2018 of 152, only horse placed in this in 13 yrs not to be at least 155. Placed horses last year were Saint Calvados 161 and A Plus Tard 166 (how under God?) Placed horses 2019 were Aso 162 and Road to Respect 169. In 2016 placed horses last year were 165 and 161, Ma Filleule 159 in 2015.


    Only five from the thirteen won their last run, only Frodon and Un De Seaux of the last seven. Three other either unplaced or PU in that season's King George. Vautour had been 2nd at Kempton in 2015. Uxizandre unseated rider in Game Spirit won by Mr Mole with AP McCoy on board. He then announced his retirement to a startled Rishi Persaud, A King then put a first time visor on Uxizandre.


    KING GEORGE - 7 of the last 13 winners competed in the King George that season finishing 266P552. But none of the last 4. Riverside Theatre 2nd in K George the season before winning this. Last season Aso finished last in both.


    Of the last eleven, only Imperial Commander and Vautour (5) had less than 7 previous chase runs. Min's 16th chase, Frodon's 23rd, Un De Sceaux's 12th chase in UK and Ire.


    Irish Trained - 54 runners, four of the last five winners and 13 placed. (1-3 last year, only a 3rd from 8 runners 2019, 1-2-4 2018, 2017 1-2-4, 2016 1-2-3, 2015, Don Cossack 3rd as fav, Hidden Cyclone 2nd 2014, First Lieutenant 2nd 2013, none from 4 in 2012, '11 Rubi Light best of the 3 in third). Vautour was first Irish winner of this or the Cathcart (its predecessor) for 20 years.


    Willie Mullins - Three winners and a second in the last five.

    THE SPONSOR - 2018 Balko Des Flos finally wins it. 2019 Road To Respect, 3rd. Last year, a lot seemed to be aimed at it but only Shattered Love flew the Gigginstown flag. Well beat in 6th. 2017 Empire Of Dirt 11/4, finished fourth, never could go the pace of the winner. G Elliott at all Preview Nights made it clear that Empire Of Dirt was by far his best Gold Cup Chance. But Eddie and Michael call the tune. The sponsor would have won it in 2016 if it hadn't have been for Vautour being parachuted in at the last moment by Willie. In 2015 Don Cossack in 3rd didn't seem to get a great ride by B Cooper.

    5 of the last 13 2m 4f Red Mills Chase winners at Gowran mid-February tried their luck. 4 of them finished 3rd. 2017 Ballycasey NR. 2018 Our Duke RIP. 2019 Monalee won at Gowran, finished 4th here. Anibale Fly was second to Monalee, then 2nd to Al Boum Photo in GC. Last year Chris's Dream went to GC. 2nd Shattered Love, disappointed here.


    Peterborough Chase and Ascot Chase competitors were 0 for 10 in this until Albertas Run (daisy) won in 2010. He had been 2nd at Ascot and 3rd at Huntingdon that season. Ascot Chase winners Voy Por Ustedes '09, Monets Garden '07 and Our Vic '06 all beaten in this. Cue Card and Riverside Theatre first from 8 Ascot Chase winners have come to Cheltenham in the same year and win. 2015 Ma Filleule finished 2nd at Ascot and here. No double since 2013 but only Riders Onthe Storm of the last five Ascot Chase winners came to the Ryanair. Cue Card in 2017 went to the GC. Waiting Patiently didn't come. In 2019 Cyrname absolutely hacked it at Ascot, was declared the new Arkle and declined this race. Aso was stone last at Ascot but, along with Frodon, was able to dominate here. 2020 Ascot Chase this year, Riders Onthe Storm, had conquered Cyrname but hadn't Traffic Fluide. Remember it is a £98k to the winner first prize at Ascot, so could hardly be called a Ryanair prep. 'still on bridle, fell three out. Too soon to say..  


    2011 and 2012 Huntingdon winners were 6th and PU here. 2013's winner Riverside Theatre didn't show up. Neither race winner figured in 2016. Top Notch won the Peterborough at Taunton in 2017, well beat by Waiting Patiently at Ascot and didn't come here. Charbel won last season's Peterborough. Didn't count here. Top Notch won the 2019 version just getting home from Kauto Riko, Aso 2/1 well beaten in 5th. Top Notch didn't come.


    Imperial Commander is the only Paddy Power/BetVictor Chase winner to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival that season since at least 1987. (Splash of Ginge great run in 2nd in 2018 Midmay, 2017 Taquin Du Seuil second in the Coral Cup. Loved the Taq) On reflection, this is possibly a difficult task as the November winners tend to be hammered by the handicapper and this G1 gives them one of the few possible options at the Festival. Happy Diva good second to Simply The Betts in the Plate. 14 from the last 20 runners up in the Paddy Power Chase competed at the Festival that season. Frodon became the second after Thisthatandother to win. The latter won the inaugural Ryanair in 2005 when it was a G2. Brelan D'As no show 2020.


    Seven of the thirteen earned their best RPR over 3m+ including Balko Des Flos at Leopardstown. Min, Un De Sceaux and Uxizandre hadn't raced over a 3m chase in UK or Ireland. Those three were 2 milers going up in trip. Frodon had been given an RPR of 177 for winning 2m 4f on Jan 27th 2018. A bit strange, that one.


    P Nicholls - From his 12 total runners, he has won it three times and had (in order going backwards), Frodon 4th, 1st, 5th (and last), Vibrato Valtat 33s and F, Wonderful Charm 16s and 8th, Al Ferof 5/1 and 5th, Kauto Stone 50s 9th at 50s, Ghizao 6th and last home, Poquelin 4th and 2nd, Gwanako 5th, Turko 3rd, My Will 4th and Armaturk PU.

    If you include the Cathcart, N Henderson has won 6 times (this twice) and had Ma Filleule second in 2015. Josses Hill 8th in 2016, 5th 2017. Terrefort PU 2019. No winner since Riverside Theatre in 2012.


    14 from the 165 came from the first three in the betting. Min 2/1 2nd fav, just. Frodon 9/2 from 13/2 in 15 minutes. (After a run of six successive winning favourites in 2019 and Paisley Park to come, layers on their knees at that time). Uxizandre 16s well tipped up by Paul Kealy in the Racing Post. Albertas Run in 2010 returned 14s. Eight of the beaten favourites had won a Graded chase last time out, but not Footpad, second in 2m Dublin Chase to Simply Ned. 32 from 46 placed came from the first 4 in the market. Unremarkable.


    None of the winners had more than 4 runs since October. Min three, Frodon 4, Un De Sceaux, Vautour and Dynaste had two each. Min, Un De Seaux, Vautour and Riverside Theatre the only clear top handicap rated to win. Both Frodon and Dynaste were joint top rated. Balko Des Flos, second top rated behind Un De Sceaux.


    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - Aso and Shattered Love well behind last season. Two outsiders PU in 2019. No qualifiers 2018. Aso at 40/1 3rd of eight actually wore cheekpieces in 2017 but hadn't worn them since Aintree 2017. None of the first six home in 2016 wore any type of headgear. All five that tried had worn the stuff before. Uxizandre 2015 won in a first time hood following Our Vic in 2008 in first time blinkers. Our Vic previous G1 winner and placed in that season's King George. Hidden Cyclone and First Lieutenant placed with blinkers.


    2 winners from 13 wearing first time headgear, Uxizandre and Our Vic.


    FRONT RUNNERS - 7 winners of this have made all, Min, 'always prominent, led fifth', 4 others 'tracking leaders', the exception Dynaste. Riverside Theatre clouted every fence, if I remember correctly. Frodon was headed 2 out, but close enough to call leading the whole way.


    TIMES. - Min 5 mins 20 in soft ground, 15secs slower than the Marsh which is about a furlong less. The seniors carry 6lbs more. 2019 Frodon won in 5 mins 10 in G to S. Balko Des Flos 5 mins 24 in soft ground. Un De Sceaux 5 mins 10 secs in 2017 having taken off with Ruby. Vautour - 5 mins 6 secs in 2016 after 4mins 46 for the JLT in 2015. Uxizandre's time of 5 mins 1 sec might suggest that, as AP said, either he had little or no control or that Ruby had stacked them up behind Vautour. Probably a bit of both. No real difference in 2015 or 2014 between JLT and Ryanair. About 15 secs between the times for each race. Yorkhill 2017 did 5 mins flat for the JLT, 10 secs faster than the Ryanair. 2016 Black Hercules did 4 mins 55secs for the JLT, 9 seconds slower than Vautour.


    Four of the last seven contested the JLT/Marsh last year. Not Min, Frodon nor Un de Sceaux.


    2017 Mildmay - Road To Respect jogged round in the same time as Un De Sceaux's Ryanair, carrying 11lb less.


    2018 - Balko 5 mins 24, Shattered Love (13lbs less) 5 mins 12 an hour earlier, The Storyteller (Mildmay, same distance, carrying 6lbs less) 5 mins 28 an hour later.


    2019 - Frodon 5 mins 10 in G to S. Defi Du Seuil 5 mins dead an hour earlier, half a furlong less with 6 lb less, Siruh Du Lac 5 mins 14 an hour later carrying 14lb less.


    2020 - Samcro 5 mins 7secs, Min 5 mins 20 secs, Simply The Betts 5 mins 26secs carrying 11st 4lb


    Simon Rowlands Festival Sectional Analysis - All over Min last year.




    Both Our Vic and Fondmort won this having been second in it the previous year. Saint Calvados


    BEATEN FAVS - Thisthatandtother and Our Vic won this having been beaten fav last time out. Footpad was the only qualifier in last two years last year, beaten over 2m at the DRF and made fav her, finished 6th. No beaten favs last time have won this since 2008.


    Only Uxizandre 16s of the last ten returned bigger than 8/1.



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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.