Ryanair Chase Ante-Post Odds: Take Allaho on with this 40/1 chance

A top class field will line up for the 2022 Ryanair Chase.
A top class field will line up for the 2022 Ryanair Chase.

One of the feature races on day three of the Cheltenham Festival is the Ryanair Chase, and this year's renewal will see a red-hot favourite in the shape of reigning champion Allaho bidding for Grade 1 glory, but we veer away from the Irish raider and pick out a huge each-way player in the betting...

Allaho produced one of the finest performances at last year's Cheltenham Festival, as the Willie Mullins-trained raider scooted to a 12-length success in the Ryanair Chase, and the Cheveley Park Stud-owned star is a warm order to retain his crown in 2022, and is currently the 2/1 ante-post favourite with the bookmakers.

Since the race's inception in 2005, only the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Albertas Run has managed to win back-to-back renewals of the Ryanair Chase (2010, 2011), but Allaho could well emulate that classy gelding as he kicked off his campaign with a fine return. Sent off a 7/2 shot for the John Durkan at Punchestown, Allaho duly benefited from the late tumble of Asterion Forlonge and went on to beat a classy field by two lengths, which cemented his place at the summit of the Ryanair betting.

Entered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Allaho has tackled three miles at the festival, when he finished third in the 2020 RSA Chase behind Champ, but this 2m 5f Ryanair trip appears to be absolutely ideal, and he is most certainly the one to beat in what is an intriguing renewal.

2022 Ryanair Chase Odds

Runners

Allaho
1
£20 FREE BET
£30 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
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£40 FREE BET
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REVEAL OFFER
Chacun Pour Soi
1
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
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REVEAL OFFER
Energumene
1
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
Envoi Allen
1
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
REVEAL OFFER
£40 FREE BET
Fakir Doudairies
1
REVEAL OFFER
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£30 FREE BET
Hitman
1
REVEAL OFFER
£30 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
Saint Calvados
Conflated
1
£30 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
REVEAL OFFER
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
Asterion Forlonge
1
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
REVEAL OFFER
£35 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
Janidil
1
REVEAL OFFER
£40 FREE BET
£20 FREE BET
£30 FREE BET
£40 FREE BET
Eldorado Allen
Funambule Sivola
Shan Blue
1
£20 FREE BET
£35 FREE BET
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Mister Fisher
Each Way Terms
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 12:41 Odds subject to change.

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Many horses entered in this contest either hold entries in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and/or the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so it will be the first task to try and pick out potential runners, but last year's runner-up Fakir D'Oudairies should have another crack at Allaho this year, and is the 12/1 second favourite. A blitzing 15-length win in the Clonmel Oil Chase showed his class, but he failed to build on that Grade 2 success when fourth in the John Durkan, so it appears Allaho has his measure and it's tough to see a turn in fortunes.

Runner-up in the 2020 Ryanair Chase, when second to Min, the Paul Nicholls-trained Saint Calvados (12/1) is another destined to feature in the 2022 renewal, and he went well for a long time in the King George before tiring in the closing stages. Eventually finishing third, the drop back from three miles to 2m 5f should play to his strengths, and he looks another notable challenger.

A plethora of maybes/unlikely runners sit in the next section of the betting with Asterion Forlonge (Gold Cup), Energumene (Champion Chase), Shan Blue (Gold Cup) all around the 14/1 to 16/1 mark, but could all be heading elsewhere at the festival. However, one that should line up in the Ryanair is the 16/1 chance Envoi Allen. A magnificent winner of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle in his younger days, Envoi Allen was sent off a red-hot odds-on jolly for the Marsh Novices' Chase last season, but was an early faller.

Well beaten in the John Durkan, he bounced back to winning ways with a Grade 1 win at Leopardstown over Christmas, but that race lacked significant depth, and over fences he will most likely found it too tough when taking on proven top-class chasers, so he can be ignored.

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Scanning further and further down the list there are some eye-catching entries with Melon, Eldorado Allen and Fanion D'Estruval just three of those that could take their chance, but the standout contender at 40/1 is the Sue Smith-trained Midnight Shadow, who has a sensational record at Cheltenham, and while this will be his toughest task to date he can run an almighty race.

A classy winner of the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham in his younger days, Midnight Shadow was then a well beaten sixth behind Samcro in the 2020 Marsh Novices' Chase, but since then he has blossomed into a top notch handicap chaser, and he has to be given a second look. Runner-up in the 2020 Caspian Caviar Cup off a mark of 148, he then won the 2021 Paddy Power Gold Cup earlier this season off a 1lb lower mark of 147, before running a huge race in defeat when third in the Racing Post Gold Cup Handicap Chase in December off a mark of 154.

Now, venturing into top-class company is sure to stretch his potential, but he has shown a real liking to the undulations of Prestbury Park, and the 2m 5f trip appears to be the absolute optimum, and he's nailed on to give solid account of himself. There's every reason to feel he's going to find it tough to live with someone of Allaho's class, but beyond that raider there's far from a number of solid punting options, and Midnight Shadow will certainly give you a decent run for your money at huge odds.

2022 Ryanair Chase
Midnight Shadow silk

Midnight Shadow (EW)

Cheltenham Festival Tips
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