• Ryanair Chase



    Nine of the last ten had already won a G1 chase

    Nine of the last ten were rated 161+

    Irish trained 1-2 in both of the last two years

    Nine of the last ten were course winners

    Five of the last six aged seven or eight years

    The sponsor has yet to win this



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


    Need winning and top quality course chase form in order to win or be second. Beware those coming from winning Ascot Chase or Peterborough Chases this season. 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+. Has won at least one G1 race. All placed at least rated 155. Course winner. Not blinkered all the time or beaten fav last time. The sponsor has never won this but has been second a lot. In this P Nicholls not the force he was. Being up with the pace has been important.

  • Evidence

    First run in 2005. First three years was only G2 in stature. Now going 10 years as a G1.


    First three winners and the runners up in ’05 and ’06 ran in the Paddy Power and December Gold Cups. In 2008 first year as a Grade 1, Old Vic was a previous Grade 2 course winner and 2nd in this '07 before winning 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. '11 Albertas beat Kalahari King who had been previously placed in a Queen Mother and an Arkle. '12 Riverside Theatre had won the Ascot G1 Betfair Chase. '13 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 ill fated 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. 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 last year was Uxizandre and a couple of G2 winners. You need class to win this.


    Since the upgrade to G1 only Imperial Commander of the 10 winners had previously failed to win a G1 race.


    Apart from Riverside Theatre, all the other ten winners of this as a G1 were course winners. All ten had run at the Festival before. Seven 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.
    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 13 not to have won a course chase. 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. Last year Sub Lieutenant had never been here before, previous run second to Sizing John in a Kinloch Brae.
    7 of the last 8 had finished in the first two of a Festival race. Not Riverside Theatre.
    Four of the last 5 were second season chasers, bar Un De Sceaux.

    Previous course winners outnumber non course winners only 73-66 as runners. 3-5 in 2017, 8-7 in 2016.

    Last 10 winners aged 7 to 10 years. Un De Sceaux was 9yrs. Previous five aged 7 or 8.


    Since became G1 in 2008 all winners bar Imperial Commander rated in the 160s 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 last year of 152, first horse placed in this in 10 yrs not to be at least 155. Sub Lieutenant 161. In 2016 placed horses last year were 165 and 161, Ma Filleule 159 in 2015.


    Only 4 from the ten won their last run, Un De Seaux first since Cue Card. Three other either unplaced or PU in that season's King George. Vautour had been 2nd at Kempton. 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 10 winners competed in the King George that season finishing 266P552. Double Shuffle (what a run) Tea For Two, Traffic Fluide, Fox Norton. Riverside Theatre 2nd in K George the season before winning this. Double Shuffle


    Of the last ten only Imperial Commander and Vautour (5) had less than 7 previous chase runs. Un De Sceaux's 12th chase in UK and Ire.


    Irish Trained - 39 runners, the last two winners and 10 placed. (1-2-4 last year, 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 (the predecessor) for 20 years.

    Sponsor keen to win own race? Entries at the moment include Road To Respect, A Toi Phil, Balko Des Flos (Tom Segal's AntePost), Disko, Outlander, Ball D'Arc, Valseur Lido. They threw Empire Of Dirt at this last year. Started 11/4, finished fourth, never could go the pace of the winner. G Elliot 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. Would of course 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. Also Sub Lieutenant.

    5 of the last 11 2m 4f Red Mills Chase winners at Gowran mid February tried their luck. 4 of them finished 3rd. 2017 Ballycasey NR. Our Duke going GC.


    Peterborough Chase and Ascot Chase competitors were 0 for 10 in this until Albertas won in 2010. He was 2nd at Ascot and 3rd at Huntingdon that season. Ascot Chase winners Voy Por Estedes '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. Cue Card last year went to the GC. None of the last four Ascot Chase winners came to the Ryanair. Waiting Patiently needs soft ground say connections. Cue Card might.


    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. Rerouted to Taunton this season, Top Notch beat Josses Hill who always runs in it.


    Imperial Commander is the only Paddy Power/BetVictor Chase winner to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival that season since at least 1987. 2017 Taquin Du Seuil second in the Coral Cup. (I loved the Taq. Personally thought he was good enough for last years Stayers, but we will never know). 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. Splash Of Ginge not entered. 13 from the last 18 runners up in the Paddy Power Chase competed at the Festival that season. Only winner was Thisthatandother in this when a G2. Unfortunately Starchitect no longer with us either. Buywise and Village Vic didn't show up in last two years.


    Six of the ten earned their best RPR over 3m+


    P Nicholls. From 10 runners, he has won it twice and had (in order going backwards), 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. No runner last year. Record ain't improving.

    If you include the Cathcart N Henderson has won this 6 times (this twice) and had Ma Filleule second in 2015. Josses Hill 8th in 2016, 5th last year.


    11 from 13 came from the first three in the betting. Uxizandre 16s and well tipped up by Paul Kealy in the Racing Post. Albertas Run in 2010 returned 14s. Six of the beaten favourites had won a Graded chase last time out. 26 from 39 placed came from first 4 in market. Unremarkable.


    None of the winners had more than 4 runs since October. Un De Sceaux, Vautour and Dynaste had two each. Un De Seaux, Vautour and Riverside Theatre the only clear top handicap rated to win. Dynaste was joint top rated.


    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - Aso 40/1 3rd of eight wore cheekpieces last year. Always does. None of the first six home in 2016 wore any type of headgear. All five that tried had worn the stuff before. Uxizandre 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 those 7 wearing first first time headgear, Uxizandre and Our Vic.


    FRONT RUNNERS - 6 winners of this have made all, 3 others 'tracking leaders', the exception Dynaste. Riverside Theatre clouted every fence, if I remember correctly.


    TIMES. Un De Sceaux did 5 mins 10 secs last year having taken off with Ruby. Vautour did 5 mins 6secs in 2016 after 4mins 46 for the JLT in 2015. its a furlong more. Uxizandre's time of 5 mins 1 sec might suggest that, as he said, either AP had little or no control or that Ruby stacked them up behind Vautour. Probably a bit of both. No real difference in 2015 or 2014 between JLT and Ryanair. About 15 secs betwen the times for each race. Yorkhill did 5 mins flat for the JLT, 10 secs faster than the Ryanair. Black Hercules did 4 mins 55secs for the JLT last year, 9 seconds slower that Vautour. JLT run on a furlong less and the seniors carry 6lb more. In the 2017 Mildmay (you know what I mean) Road To Respect jogged round in the same time as Un De Sceaux's Ryanair, carrying 11lb less. 2106 Empire Of Dirt was 7 seconds slower than Vautour and carried 13lbs less.


    See Simon Rowlands Times view from ATR site





    Both Our Vic and Fondmort won this having been second in it the previous year. Sub Lieutenant. Thisthatandtother and Our Vic won this having been beaten fav last time out. No beaten favs last time have won since 2008. Only qualifier last year Sub Lieutenant. 2016 Road to Riches in 3rd.



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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 (Gary).  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday.  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.