• Ryanair Chase

    The last ten winners 'made all', 'tracked leaders' or were 'prominent.'

    Rachel Blackmore has ridden four times in this, finishing 1134.

    Last 11 aged seven to nine yrs

    Last eight ran in at least two previous Festivals

    None of the last 16 more than four previous runs that season

    12 of the last 16 had already won a G1

    Last 14 BHA rated 161+

    Envoi Allen first in seven to contest that season's King George

    Irish trained have won seven of the last eight

    12 the last 16 were course winners

    Last 10 were FRE bred

    11 from the last 12 SP no bigger than 8/1

    All bar Envoi Allen of the last eight were 1st or 2nd last time in at least a G2


    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 5 furlongs. Going 19 years. Upgraded to Grade 1 in 2008. All carry 11st 10lbs. Mares get 7lbs. £210k 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 or unplaced in KG. 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 last year's 2m 4f Turners Festival novice. Less than 11 chase starts. Raced at two previous Festivals at least.

  • Honours Board

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

    2023 ||| 317 ||| Envoi Allen ||| 9 ||| 163 ||| 13/2 ||| H de Bromhead (IRE) ||| R Blackmore ||| 9 ||| 7th King George (80)

    2022 ||| 11 ||| Alloha ||| 8 ||| 174 ||| 4/7F ||| W Mullins (IRE) ||| P Townend ||| 7 ||| 1st G2 Thurles 2m 4f (53)

    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 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)

  • Evidence

    First run in 2005. For the first three years only a Grade 2. Now going 16 years as a Grade 1.


    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. None of Envoi Allen, 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 seven 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 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. Frodon had won four G2 chases previous to this.


    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. This year A Plus Tard was the 7/4 favourite. His best 2m 4f form on offer had been to win the 2019 Close Bros Nov H'cap Ch. Won GC 2022.


    2021 Alloha 3/1 fav with Rachel takes off and put them all to the sword. First-time tongue tie. Beats Fakir D'Oudairies by 12 lengths with Tornado Flyer 25s back in third.  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. Won the same prep in 2022 from Fakir Doudairies in a faster time and quicker ground than 2021. The change to front running tactics worked a dream. And did so here again in 2022 at 4/7. Easier than money in the bank.


    2023 - Envoi Allen with another fine Rachel ride benefits from a mullish even money Shishkin. Thw winner hadn't taken to Kempton at Christmas. His third Festival success.


    Since the upgrade to G1, only Allaho (first time, obviously), Frodon, Balko Des Flos and Imperial Commander of the 16 winners had previously failed to win a G1 race. Allaho had finished 2nd to Chacun Pour Soi in a Punchestown Grade 1 over 2m.


    Apart from Alloha, Min, Riverside Theatre and Balko, all the other winners of this as a Grade 1 were course winners. All 16 winners as a G1 had previously run at the Festival. 10 of the 12 Course winners had won a course chase plus Envoi Allen 3rd in a QM and Cue Card second in an Arkle to Sprinter Sacre. Alloha finished 3rd in an Albert Bartlett (poor enough ride, stated D Casey, assistant trainer, jockey believes he was being 'run over the wrong trip') 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 19 bar Riverside Theatre had already raced at least twice at Cheltenham.


    Previous course winners outnumber non-course winners only 100 - 91 as runners. 3-6 last year 2-5 last year (last year resulting in a 1-2, 2022 a 1-3), 5-6 2021, 6-2 2020, 7-5 in 2019.


    Horses that finish 2nd - Shishkin, well Shishkin... 2022 Janadil had won the Grade 1 2m 4f Novice at Fairyhouse. Fakir D'Oudairies, 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 New Years Day h'cap over 2m 4f. 13 of the 19 runners up were course winners. Not Janadil, only 5th to Monfish in the 2020 Albert Bartlett. Aso, 2nd to Frodon in 2019, fell at the last in the 2020 COVID Virtual Grand National when glory was his for the taking. Robbed.


    RATINGS OF THOSE PLACED - Shishkin 174, Hitman 159, Aso's 3rd 2018 off 152, only horse placed in 16 yrs not to be at least 155. Janadil 164, 1-2-3 in 2021 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.


    10 of the last 14 had finished in the first two in a Festival race. Not Allaho (first time obviously), Frodon, Balko nor Riverside Theatre. Min, twice.


    The last ten winners were FRE bred.


    The last 16 were proven over the trip. Some further. Envoi Allen had won the Ladbroke Chase at Down Royal, Allaho 3rd in a Brown Advisory. Seven runners had ran in the 3m Sefton, three won. Imperial Commander, Uxizandre and Balko des Flos.


    Six of the last seven were at least third season chasers.

    AGE - Last 16 winners aged 7 to 10 years. But Albertas Run 2011 last winner to be aged older than nine. Envoi Allen, Min and Un De Sceaux were 9 yr olds. Apart from those three, the last nine winners aged 7 or 8 yrs. No 6 yr old winner since Taranis in 2007.


    Since becoming Grade 1 in 2008 all winners bar Imperial Commander (156, 2009) rated in the 160s at least. Envoi Allen 161, Allaho 174 and 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 seven from the Grade 1 16 had won their last race, which includes five of the last seven. Four others either unplaced or poor enough run 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 16 winners competed in the King George that season finishing 266P5527. But only Envoi Allen of the last seven. Riverside Theatre 2nd in K George the season before winning this.


    Of the last 12, only Imperial Commander and Vautour (both 5) and Allaho (6) had less than 7 previous chase runs. Last year Envoi Allen's win was his 13th chase. Allaho's second win was his 11th chase. It was Min's 16th, Frodon's 23rd, Un De Sceaux's 12th chase in GB and IRE.


    Irish Trained - 71 total runners, seven of the last eight winners and 16 placed. (1st last year, 1-2 2022, 1-2-3 2021, 1-3 2020, only a 3rd from eight 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 - Five winners, two seconds and a third in the last eight. Ran three last year resulting in a 7-8-9! The last three home! Three in 2022, 1-2-5, four in 2021, a 1-3. Only Allaho (first time) of his winners not rated 170+.

    THE SPONSOR - In 2015 Don Cossack in 3rd didn't seem to get the greatest of rides by B Cooper. 2017 Empire Of Dirt 11/4, fourth, never could go the pace of Un de Sceaux. 2018 Balko Des Flos finally wins it for Mr O'Leary. 2019 Road To Respect, 3rd. 2020, Shattered Love 6th. 2021 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 called 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 2022 Conflated won the Irish Gold Cup and then strangely came here. Fighting for second when fell two out. Fury Road 6th of nine last year.


    If you include the Cathcart, N Henderson has won 6 times (this twice) and had Shishkin 2nd last year, Ma Filleule second in 2015. Josses Hill 8th in 2016, 5th 2017. Terrefort PU 2019, Mister Fisher PU 2021. No winner since Riverside Theatre in 2012.


    P Nicholls - From his total of 12 runners, three winners and in order, going backwards, Hitman 3rd, 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. Stage Star

    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 Shishkin, 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) and Shishkin of the last eight 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. 2019 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 £100k 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. 2022 Fakir D'oudaries took the easier £141k to the winner Melling Chase. Shishkin bluffed in second here last year.


    The Peterborough Chase winner hasn't ever featured in the Ryanair places. Abandoned race in 2023.


    6 of the last 15 2m 4f Red Mills Chase winners at Gowran mid-February tried their luck. 4 of them finished 3rd. 2017 Ballycasey NR. 2019 Monalee won at Gowran, finished 4th here. Annibale was 2nd to Monalee, then 2nd to Al Boum Photo in GC. 2020 Chris's Dream went to GC, 2nd Shattered Love, disappointed here. Melon 5th 2022 then Janadil 7th last year.


    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 Grade 1 gives them one of the few possible options at the Festival. Ga Law last year finished 5th here having beaten French Dynamite (4th) in November. 15 from the last 21 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. 2022 Protektorat was a fine GC 3rd. Stage Star.


    Seven of the 15 Grade 1s had earned their best RPR over 3m+ including Balko Des Flos at Leopardstown. Envoi Allen when winning in Down Royal, Allaho 179 on his first win 167 when 3rd to Champ in the Brown Advisory, Min, Un De Sceaux and Uxizandre hadn't raced over a 3m chase in GB or Ireland. Those three were two milers going up in trip.


    Horses BHA rated 170+ are 4 from 6.


    17 of the 19 came from the first three in the betting. Envoi Allen 13/2 third fav, 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. Nine of the beaten favourites had won a Graded chase last time out, but not Footpad, second in 2m Dublin Chase to Simply Ned. 39 from 54 places came from the first 4 in the market. Unremarkable.


    Only Uxizandre 16s of the last 13 returned bigger than 8/1.


    None of the winners had more than four runs since October. Envoi Allen, Allaho, Min three, Frodon 4, Un De Sceaux, Vautour and Dynaste had two each. All at least two runs.


    Allaho 2022, Min, Un De Seaux, Vautour and Riverside Theatre the only five clear top handicap rated to win. Envoi Allen fourth equal on 163 Allaho well down the list in 2021. Both Frodon and Dynaste were joint top rated. Balko Des Flos, second top rated behind Un De Sceaux.


    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - 4th was best last year. Melon 5th 2022 in usual cheekpieces, Kalashnikov only qualifier 2021, 1st time cheekpieces 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 16 wearing first time headgear, Uxizandre and Our Vic. No headgear wearing winner since 2015.


    FRONT RUNNERS - 10 winners of this have made all, Allaho twice and WOW, Min, 'always prominent, led fifth', five others 'tracking leaders', prominent'' the exceptions 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. - Envoi Allen 5 12 10 secs slower than Stage Star in the Turners a furlong shorter and they carry 3lbs less, Allaho 5 09 also in G to S both years, 2021 seven secs slower than the Marsh. (NH races tend to be 15 seconds a furlong) Only two seconds slower 2022.  Min 5 mins 20 in soft ground, 15 secs slower than the Marsh. 2019 Frodon won in 5 10 in G to S. Balko Des Flos 5 24 in soft ground. Un De Sceaux  5 10 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 10 contested the JLT/Marsh last year. But only Balko des Flos of the last seven. Stage Star.


    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.


    2023 - Seddon 4 secs slower than the Ryanair carrying a stone less.


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


    BEATEN FAVS - Thisthatandtother and Our Vic won this having been beaten fav last time out. Three last year, none placed. Shan Bleu, Imperial Aura and Footpad the only other unplaced qualifiers in the last five years. No beaten favs last time have won this since 2008.


    Ruby Walsh top jockey on 4 wins. Rachel Blackmore has won on Envoi Allen and Allaho, her last two rides in the race.