• Ryanair Chase



    Eight of the last nine had already won a G1 chase

    Eight of the last nine were rated 161+

    Only Vautour of the last nine winners was Irish trained

    Eight of the last nine were course winners

    Last five winners all 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 Paddy Power 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 a G1 race. All placed at least rated 155. At least G3 course winner or has had 7 chase runs. Not blinkered all the time or beaten fav last time. Look at Ascot Chase runners. The sponsor has never won this and can't have been too pleased with Willie Mullins last year. 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 9 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 and 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. You need class to win this.


    Since the upgrade to G1 only Imperial Commander of the 9 winners had previously failed to win a G1 race.



    Apart from Riverside Theatre, all the other nine winners of this as a G1 were course winners. All nine had run at the Festival before. 7 of the nine had won a course chase plus Cue Card who had 'only' been second in an Arkle to Sprinter Sacre. He is a G1 Festival Bumper winner and was 4th in a Supreme Novice. 2013 First Lieutenant in second to Cue Card had won a G1 Neptune He along with Valseur Lido, Kalahari King, Mossbank and Hidden Cyclone are the only other runners up from 12 not to have won a course chase. 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 in the 2015 JLT.
    6 of the last 7 had finished in the first two of a Festival race. Not Riverside Theatre.

    Previous course winners outnumber non course winners only 72-61 as runners. 8-7 in 2016.

    Last 9 winners aged 7 to 10 years. Last 5 aged 7 or 8.


    Since G1 in 2008 all winners bar Imperial Commander rated in the 160s Vautour 176, Uxizandre 161, Dynaste 169 Cue Card 165 Our Vic 165, Albertas 162 and 166, Riverside Theatre 168. All 27 win and place since made into a G1 rated at least 155. Placed horses last year were 165 and 161, Ma Filleule 159 in 2015.


    Only 3 from the nine won their last run. Three other either unplaced or PU in that season's King George. Vautour had been 2nd. 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 9 winners competed in the King George that season finishing 266P552. Cue Card Josses Hill Riverside Theatre 2nd in K George the season before winning this.


    Of the last nine only Imperial Commander and Vautour (5) had less than 7 previous chase runs


    Irish Trained - 36 runners, one winner and 9 placed. (Record improved after the 2016 1-2-3, 2015, Don Cossack 3rd as fav, Hidden Cyclone 2014, First Lieutenant 2nd 2013, none from 4 in 2012, '11 Rubi Light best of the 3 in third). Vautour first Irish winner of this orthe Cathcart (the predecessor) for 20 years.

    Sponsor keen to win own race? Road To Riches, Sub Lieutenant, Outlander? But we said that last year. and with Don Cossack. Would of course have won it in 2016 if it hadn't have been for Vautour being parachuted in at the last moment.

    5 of the last 10 2m 4f Red Mills Chase winners at Gowran mid February tried their luck. 4 of them finished 3rd. Ballycasey from Clarcam.


    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 two from 7 Ascot Chase winners have come to Cheltenham in the same year and win. 2011 and 2012 Huntingdon winners were 6th and PU here. 2013's winner Riverside Theatre didn't show up. 2015 Ma Filleule finished 2nd at Ascot and here. Neither race winner figured in 2016. Huntingdon Josses Hill bt Tea For Two. Cue Card won by a mile from Shantou Flyer. Winner Gold Cup bound


    Imperial Commander is the only Paddy Power/Betvictor Chase winner to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival that season since at least 1987. Taquin Du Seuil I love 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. 13 from the last 17 runners up in the Paddy Power Chase competed at the Festival that season. Only winner was Thisthatandother in this when a G2. Buywise didn't show last year. Village Vic


    Six of the nine 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. 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


    10 from 12 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. 24 from 36 placed came from first 4 in market. Unremarkable.


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


    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - None of the first six home last year won 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.


    FRONT RUNNERS - 5 winners of this have made all, 3 others 'tracking leaders', the exception Dynaste.


    TIMES. Vautour did 5 mins 6secs last year 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. 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 2016 Mildmay (you know what I mean) Empire Of Dirt was 7 seconds slower than Vautour and carried 13lbs less. In 2015 Darna was 12 secs slower than Uxizandre.

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


    Sizing John has finished 7 times behind Douvan. Might be a while before the next time.



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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). The Stats Proverb says 'Relevance Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.' 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 concerned 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.