The Ryanair Chase is one of the biggest betting events of the Cheltenham Festival, and the market regularly changes throughout the season. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on horseracing.net for expert views and analysis on the 2020 Ryanair Chase as the picture becomes clearer.
The latest odds for the Ryanair Chase will be listed below just as soon as they become available.
Ryanair Chase Tips
Tips for the 2020 Ryanair Chase will appear here.
What is the Ryanair Chase?
The Ryanair Chase is one of five championship races which are held during the Cheltenham Festival, and is usually staged on the third day, St Patrick’s Day, alongside the Stayers’ Hurdle, which is traditionally held on a Thursday in March. The Grade 1 contest is run over two miles and four and a half furlongs, and offers an alternative to runners in both the Champion Chase (run over two miles) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (three miles).
The history of the Ryanair Chase
The Ryanair Chase is one of the newest races at the Cheltenham Festival, and was first run in 2005, when Thisthatandtother won the inaugural running for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. The race was initially a Grade 2 contest, but was upgraded to Grade 1 status in 2008. The race was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph for its first running, but has been backed by airline Ryanair since. Only one horse has won the Ryanair Chase on more than one occasion during its history, the Paul Nicholls-trained and Trevor Hemmings-owned Albertas Run, who won the race in 2010 and 2011. Several Ryanair Chase winners have also won other races at the festival, including the 2009 winner Imperial Commander (also won Cheltenham Gold Cup), the 2013 winner Cue Card (also won 2010 Champion Bumper) and the 2017 winner Un De Sceaux (also won 2015 Arkle Trophy).
What happened in the 2019 Ryanair Chase?
The 2019 renewal of the Ryanair Chase was a strong one, and featured the two previous winners of the race, Balko Des Flos (2018) and Un De Sceaux (2017), as well as previous Cheltenham Festival winners Footpad (2018 Arkle Trophy), Road To Respect (2017 Festival Plate) and The Storyteller (2018 Festival Plate). The previous year’s Arkle winner Footpad was sent off the 7/2 favourite but failed to fire, as did several others, leaving the door open for the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon, who produced a gutsy performance to record his third straight win at the track, and his eleventh win overall over fences.
Considering that the Ryanair Chase is still a relatively new race, it boasts a star-studded roll of honour, which includes Imperial Commander, Albertas Run and Un De Sceaux. However, the most esteemed alumnus of the race is perhaps the 2013 winner, Cue Card, who made seven appearances at the Cheltenham Festival between 2010-2018. Although Cue Card’s finest hour arguably came outside of the Cotswolds (that surely came with one of his three wins in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park), his 2013 victory in the Ryanair Chase felt like a hallmark moment for him, having chased home Al Ferof in the 2011 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Sprinter Sacre in the 2012 Arkle the previous two years. Cue Card had won the previous month’s Ascot Chase prior to the 2013 Ryanair Chase, and he followed up in fine style at the festival - making the running and winning by nine lengths. Cue Card signed off with a below-par effort in the 2018 renewal of the Ryanair Chase, when pulled-up, but that perhaps came too soon after a memorable duel with Waiting Patiently in the previous month’s Ascot Chase - a performance which will go down as his true swansong.
Are there any trials for the Ryanair Chase?
The fact that the Ryanair Chase is run over two and a half miles means that contenders from both the two-mile and three-mile divisions can arrive here, meaning that a host of races can provide clues for this. Those races include the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, the Ascot Chase, the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham and the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. Over in Ireland, races to keep an eye on include the Hilly Way Chase at Cork and the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Ryanair Chase?
The most successful jockey in the Ryanair Chase is Ruby Walsh, with four wins. Walsh’s wins in the Ryanair Chase were on Thisthatandtother (2005), Taranis (2007), Vautour (2016) and Un De Sceaux (2017).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Ryanair Chase?
The most successful trainer in the Ryanair Chase is Paul Nicholls, with three wins. Paul Nicholls three wins came with Thisthatandtother (2005), Taranis (2007) and Frodon (2019).