• Ryanair Chase

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

    Last 10 aged seven to nine yrs

    Last 6 ran in at least two previous Festivals

    None of the last 14 more than four previous runs that season

    10 of the last 14 had already won a G1

    Last 12 already rated 161+

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

    Irish trained have won five of the last six

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

    10 the last 14 were course winners

    Last eight were French bred

    Nine from the last ten no bigger than 8/1

    Last six 1st or 2nd last time in at least a G2

    Only Balko Des Flos of the last five ran in the previous Festival's 2m 4f novice.

    Summary

    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 5 furlongs. Going 17 years. Upgraded to Grade 1 in 2008. All carry 11st 10lbs. Mares get 7lbs. £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. Proven over trip. No recent Ascot Chase or Peterborough Chases doubling up. Not more than 4 runs since October. Top two finish last time in at least G2. Winner to be rated 161+ 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? Not from KG or last year's 2m 4f novice. Less than 11 chase starts. Raced twice at two previous Festivals.

  • Honours Board

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

    2021 ||| 641 ||| Alloha ||| 7 ||| 162 ||| 3/1F ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| R Blackmore ||| 11||| 1st G2 Thurles 2m 4f (50)

    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)

  • Evidence

    First run in 2005. For the first three years only a G2. Now going 14 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 2019 returned to that stat by running in both and winning the G3 Caspian Caviar off a rating of 164. Neither Min nor Allaho had been back here since the previous Festival.

     

    PREVIOUS GRADED SUCCESS? - In 2008 as first time 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/Broadway winner. He beat Poquelin who in turn was the previous season's 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. Won a Champion 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 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 and a couple of Clarence Houses. At least. 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 had been his usual warrior self 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 2019 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.' No change there, then. Frodon had won four G2 chases previous to this. PN won't enter him this year for the Festival. Don't start me..

     

    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 in this 2020. His best 2m 4f form on offer had been to win the 2019 Close Bros Nov H'cap Ch.

     

    2021 Alloha 3/1fav and Rachel take off and put them all to the sword. First-time tongue tie. Beats Fakir D'Oudairies by 12 lengths with some horse called Tornado Flyer 25s back in third. They may still be out looking the rest. That season he had been 6th in a John Durkan and 4th behind A Plus Tard in the Irish Gold Cup. Then won an easy G2 at Thurles from Elimay. The change to front running tactics worked a dream. A fair trainer, that W Mullins guy.

     

    Since the upgrade to G1, only Allaho, Frodon, Balko Des Flos and Imperial Commander of the 14 winners had previously failed to win a G1 race. Allaho had finished 2nd to Chacun Pour Soi in Punchestown G1.

     

    Apart from Alloha, Min, Riverside Theatre and Balko, all the other winners of this as a G1 were course winners. All 14 winners as a G1 had previously run at the Festival. Nine of the ten Course winners had won a course chase plus Cue Card who had 'only' been second in an Arkle to Sprinter Sacre. Alloha finished 3rd in an Albert Bartlett (poor enough ride, stated D Casey, assistant trainer) and in Champ's RSA. 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 in this the year before his win. Balko des Flos was running rightly in Yorkhill's JLT before falling 4 out.
     
    All 17 bar Riverside Theatre had already raced at least twice at Cheltenham.
     
    Previous course winners outnumber non-course winners only 95-82 as runners. 5-6 last year, 6-2 2020, 7-5 in 2019.
     
    Horses that finish 2nd - Fakir D'Oudairies had won a G2 four yr old hurdle and was 2nd in an Arkle. Saint Calvados had won a CL2 course 2 mile chase. Aso the G3 Jan 1st h'cap over 2m 4f. 12 of the 17 runners up were course winners. Aso, 2nd to Frodon, fell at the last in the 2020 Virtual Grand National when glory was his for the taking. Robbed.
     
    RATINGS OF THOSE PLACED - Aso's 3rd 2018 off 152, only horse placed in 14 yrs not to be at least 155. 1-2-3 last year all rated 162, Placed horses 2020 were Saint Calvados 161 and A Plus Tard 166 In 2019 it was Aso 162 and Road to Respect 169.
     
    (JUST AN ASIDE) THOSE THAT HAVE TRIED AND BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL - Melon's current Festival record is 2222P, all in G1s. Can't find a horse who won a first Festival race on his sixth attempt. Smad Place (Festivals 2011-17) G1 placed in three consecutive Festivals but never finished better than 8th afterward. 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?   You may 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 went 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.
     
    8 of the last 12 had finished in the first two in a Festival race. Not Allaho, Frodon, Balko nor Riverside Theatre. Min, twice.
     
    The last eight winners were French bred.
     
    The last fourteen were proven over the trip. Some further. Seven runners had ran in the 3m Sefton, three won. Imperial Commander, Uxizandre and Balko des Flos.
     
    Six of the last nine were second season chasers, bar Min, Frodon and Un De Sceaux.
     

    AGE - Last 14 winners aged 7 to 10 years. But Albertas Run 2011 last winner aged older than nine. Min and Un De Sceaux were 9 yr olds. Apart from those two, the last eight 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 (156, 2009) rated in the 160s at least. Allaho 162, 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.

     

    FORM - Only six from the G1 14 had won their last race, which includes four of the last five. 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. AP then announced his retirement to a startled Rishi Persaud, A King immediately put a first time visor on Uxizandre who was AP's final Festival winner in 2015.

     

    KING GEORGE - 7 of the last 14 winners competed in the King George that season finishing 266P552. But none of the last 5. Riverside Theatre 2nd in K George the season before winning this. In 2020 Aso finished last in both.

     

    Of the last 12, only Imperial Commander and Vautour (both 5) and Allaho (6) 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 - 61 total runners, five of the last six winners and 15 placed. (1-2-3 last year, 1-3 2020, 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, Vautour was first Irish trained winner of this or the Cathcart (its closest predecessor) in 20 years.

     

    Willie Mullins - Four winners, a second and a third in the last six. Ran four last year resulting in a 1-3. Only Allaho of his winners not rated 170+

    THE SPONSOR - 2017 Empire Of Dirt 11/4, fourth, never could go the pace Un de Sceaux. 2018 Balko Des Flos finally wins it for Mr O'Leary. 2019 Road To Respect, 3rd. 2020, Shattered Love 6th. Last year Samcro PU. 2017 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 the greatest of rides by B Cooper.

     

    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, Mister Fisher PU last year. No winner since Riverside Theatre in 2012.

     

    P Nicholls - From his total of 12 runners, three winners and in order, going backwards, Frodon 4th, Ist, 5th (and last), Vibrato Valtat 33s and F, Kauto Stone 50s, 9th, Ghizao 6th and last, Poquelin 4th and 2nd, Gwanako 5th, Turko 3rd, My Will 4th and Armaturk PU. Last year pulled out Real Steel in the morning of the race. Good idea, that.


    5 of the last 14 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. 2020 Chris's Dream went to GC. 2nd Shattered Love, disappointed here. Last year Bachasson was always an unlikely runner.

     

    Peterborough Chase and Ascot Chase competitors were 0 for 10 in this until Albertas Run 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 both Ascot Chase winners to have won the Ryanair the same season. 2015 Ma Filleule finished 2nd at Ascot and here. No Ascot double since 2013 but only Riders On The Storm (F) of the last six 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 as 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, Riders On The Storm, had conquered Cyrname but not Traffic Fluide. Remember it is a £98k to the winner first prize at Ascot, so could hardly be called a Ryanair prep. Here he was 'still on bridle', fell three out. Too soon to say.. 2021 First Flow didn't come here, ran in the QM for some reason, 6th.

     

    The Peterborough Chase winner hasn't ever featured in the Ryanair places. Mister Fisher PU last year First Flow

     

    Imperial Commander is the only Paddy Power 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). On reflection, this is 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. Midnight Shadow (now rated 154) from Protekorat (158). 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/Daily Telegraph Chase in 2005 when it was a G2.

     

    Seven of the 14 G1s earned their best RPR over 3m+ including Balko Des Flos at Leopardstown. Allaho 176 when second to Chacun Pour Soi, Min, Un De Sceaux and Uxizandre hadn't raced over a 3m chase in UK or Ireland. Those three were two 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.

     

    15 from the 17 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 at 11/8 to come, layers were on their knees at that time). Uxizandre 16s well tipped up by Paul Kealy in the Racing Post. Albertas Run in 2010 SP 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. 35 from 49 placed came from the first 4 in the market. Unremarkable.

     

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

     

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

     

    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - Kalashnikov only qualifier last year, 1st time chekpieces in 4th. Aso and Shattered Love unpl 2020. 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. 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.

     

    To summarise, 2 winners from 14 wearing first time headgear, Uxizandre and Our Vic.

     

    FRONT RUNNERS - 8 winners of this have made all, Allaho WOW, Min, 'always prominent, led fifth', 4 others 'tracking leaders', the exception Dynaste. Riverside Theatre clouted every fence, if I remember correctly. Frodon was headed just after 2 out, but close enough to call leading the whole way.

     

    TIMES. - Allaho 5 09 in G to S, seven secs slower than the Marsh which is a furlong shorter. (NH races tend to be 15 seconds a furlong) Min 5 mins 20 in soft ground, 15 secs slower than the Marsh. The seniors carry 6lbs more. 2019 Frodon won in 5 mins 10 in G to S. Balko Des Flos 5 24 in soft ground. Un De Sceaux 5 10 secs in 2017 having taken off with Ruby. Vautour - 5 06 in 2016 after 4 46 for the JLT in 2015. Uxizandre's time of 5 01 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 55 for the JLT, nine seconds slower than Vautour.

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    2019 - Frodon 5 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 14 carrying 14lb less.

     

    2020 - Samcro 5 07 Min 5 20 , Simply The Betts 5 26 carrying 11st 4

     

    2021 - Chantry House 5 16 Allaho 5 09, The Shunter 5 18 carrying 10st 5.

     

    Both Our Vic and Fondmort won this having been second in it the previous year. Fakir D'Oudairies

     

    No current jockey has won two of these.

     

    BEATEN FAVS - Thisthatandtother and Our Vic won this having been beaten fav last time out. Imperial Aura and Footpad the only qualifier in last three years. No beaten favs last time have won this since 2008.

     

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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 Encouaged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.