2023 Ryanair Chase Entries: Shishkin could face 11 rivals
Although the Stayers' Hurdle has the feature race slot on Thursday, the Ryanair Chase certainly is a worthy co main event and this season's renewal revolves around one star chaser, much like last season. Unlike last season, however, racing fans are not wondering if Allaho can go back to back, but are musing over whether Shishkin can repeat his stunning Ascot Chase performance to romp away from his rivals. Here we analyse the potential runners after the latest confirmation stage...
AD 18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply.
#AD. *New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of each-way bets only. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. each-way & multiple bets), stakes not returned. **Max Free Bet £10. Bet must be placed within 48hrs of 1st race each day - 1st cash bet on the 1st race each day of Cheltenham Festival (main market, ex antepost & specials). Win part e/w bet. Selection must lose. Free Bet: non-withdrawable, use in 7 days on sportsbook only. Stake not returned. Full T&C's apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
As is the case with a fair few of the big races coming our way at the Cheltenham Festival, multiple confirmations are muddying the waters somewhat at this stage in the Ryanair Chase. Looking at the field of twelve left in the race, the obvious starting point is with the odds-on favourite Shishkin, back to his brilliant best last time out in the Ascot Chase. This first attempt at intermediate distances seemed to suit Nicky Henderson's runner perfectly and if he turns up in anything like the same form he will simply claim this race as he likes and could be a focal point of punters' Cheltenham tips for the week.
Both the 'confirmed' runners who follow him in the market are far from certain runners here. Conflated is almost certainly Gold Cup bound for Gordon Elliott, but is a 5/1 chance here NRNB and Blue Lord could just as easily rock up in the Champion Chase as appear in this race on the Thursday. Janidil is next up and is almost certain to line up after a good second placed finish last year behind runaway leader Allaho. Connections may be tempted to run for a place once more with this one if Shishkin seems to be on a going day.
Fury Road comes next and he will be ridden to win the race, although he is a horse many simply cannot warm to. He ran well in the Irish Gold Cup last time out before being brushed aside by Galopin Des Champs after the last, so this drop down in trip should suit. Envoi Allen has never lived up to the hype for Henry De Bromhead but will probably take his chance here and at least has some Festival form after winning the Champion Bumper and Ballymore when looking like the next coming. These Irish contenders could all give Shishkin something to think about if at their very best.
#AD 18+ New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using debit cards will qualify for this promotion (Apple Pay deposits excluded). T&C's apply, BeGambleAware.Org
French Dynamite looks set to take his chance here and has been put forward at a few Cheltenham previews as a lively outsider for Mouse Morris. His odds of 16/1 with three places available could look big on the day if only a small field show up, but he really shouldn't be troubling a peak form Shishkin. The same applies for the British quartet of GA Law, Hitman, Fanion d'Estruval and Millers Bank, although GA Law could be one to hit the frame as he has been a much improved horse this season.
Chacun Pour Soi completes the list of potential runners and on his top rating is the only horse in here to rival Shishkin. HIs age, fragility, Cheltenham record and his questionable temperament mean however he is long odds against to even run here, let alone challenge for another Grade One at the ripe old age of 11.
This really does look at Shishkin's mercy and with the final potential field now confirmed it is easy to see why Henderson's charge is so many people's banker of the meeting, with the rest probably battling for second.