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The Ryanair Steeple Chase Tips (2:50pm)

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One of the new races added when the Festival expanded to four days in 2005 the Ryanair Chase is run over 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs and of the eighteen runnings so fair It’s Britain that’s had the lions share of victories against the Irish 12 wins to 6, although it is the Irish who have plundered 6 of the last 7. Willie Mullins has trained the most winners in the race with five including the great Allaho for the last two years. Unfortunately, Allaho will be missing this year in his hat trick bid but Mullins still has a leading contender in the shape of Blue Lord who’s won 6 of his 8 starts over the bigger obstacles but flopped when a 1/4 chance at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February coming home 7L second to his stablemate Gentleman De Mee. Blue Lord also has the option of the Champion Chase but with Allaho’s defection could come into the equation now.

Nicky Henderson has Shishkin entered here who made a scintillating return to action when a very impressive winner of Ascot’s Betfair Chase at his first attempt at the intermediate trip. He should be hard to beat now back to his best having already won at two Cheltenham Festivals. Only officially rated 6lb behind Shishkin is the Gordon Elliott trained nine year old Conflated who also has a Gold Cup entry and looks like he’s going there. Elliott also has Fury Road here, a consistent nine year old who can appreciate dropping back in trip from running well over three miles this season. Another who had the Ryanair/Gold Cup entries is Henry De Bromhead’s Envoi Allen. He bounced back to form on his re-appearance in November when winning the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal over three miles but flopped badly in the King George VI Chase at Kempton with the tacky ground used as the excuse. Trained by Joseph O’Brien for JP McManus, Fakir D’oudairies was behind Shishkin at Ascot having been a lucky winner at Thurles the time before when Haut En Couleurs handed the race to him with a last fence tumble when two lengths clear.

This intermediate trip looks ideal for Paul Nicholls’ Pic D’Orhy who looked good at Kempton in January but he too looks held by Shiskin on Ascot form. The other British challenger with a place chance is Jamie Snowden’s Ga Law who crashed out at the last in the Skybet Handicap Chase last time when in with a chance. He’ll need to take his form to another level to worry the principals mind. Shishkin is officially rated the best of these and with the trip likely to help can take his Cheltenham Festival record to three victories.

Punters Lounge Tip: Shishkin @ 6/4 at >Betfred - Click Here To Bet

by The Brigadier

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  • StevieDay1983 changed the title to The Ryanair Steeple Chase Tips (2:50pm)
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The Ryanair Chase is a Grade One Chase open to horses aged five or older. It is run on the new course over a distance of around two-and-a-half miles. There are seventeen fences to be jumped and it offers horses an opportunity to gain top-level festival success over a mid-range trip. Proven Grade One form is required to win this as is previous Cheltenham form.

Since its inception, all fourteen previous winners had won over a trip of at least two-and-a-half miles, with ten of those winners already having won a Grade One. The market usually finds the winner of the race quite well with eleven of the last thirteen winners coming from one of the front three in the betting market on the day. Eleven out of the last fourteen winners had won or been placed at the Festival previously.

Year Horse Age Trainer Jockey
2022 Allaho 8 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2021 Allaho 7 Willie Mullins Rachael Blackmore
2020 Min 9 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2019 Frodon 7 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost
2018 Balko Des Flos 7 Henry De Bromhead Davy Russell
2017 Un De Sceaux 9 Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2016 Vautour 7 Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2015 Uxizandre 7 Alan King Tony McCoy
2014 Dynaste 8 David Pipe Tom Scudamore
2013 Cue Card 7 Colin Tizzard Joe Tizzard
2012 Riverside Theatre 8 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty

Ryanair Steeple Chase Runners

Below are the runners for the Ryanair Chase. I shall provide some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.


Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico De Boinville

A winner of eight out of his ten chases is a fantastic stat and he produced a great performance in the Ascot Chase last month to beat Pic D’Orhy by sixteen lengths. That seemed to suggest he was right back to somewhere near his best and given that he is two from three on this track he would command the utmost respect anyway. Whilst his rivals are no back numbers, they do not match what he has done or come close to it. If fully on song he should win this in a canter.

Blue Lord

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Paul Townend

Whilst his record reflects that he has won three out of his last four races, they were quite dire. He beat no more than seven horses in any of those races and when upped to this level last time, he was easily usurped by stablemate Gentleman De Mee. He has yet to prove he is fully effective on this track as he was beaten all to easily by Edwardstone in the Arkle last year. There are others better than him in this race.


Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Mark Walsh

Fared best of the rest when runner-up in this race last season finishing some fourteen lengths behind Allaho. He won a weak Grade 2 race last time where he got the better of stablemate Haut En Couleurs. I expect him to put in another solid round here and for his jockey to deploy similar hold-up tactics. Likely to be doing all of his running on when the winner has already sewn up the victory, but place prospects once more.

Fury Road

Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Davy Russell

Has not won a Grade 1 Chase since beating Run Wild Fred in the Neville Hotels Novices’ Chase back in 2021. He is genuinely consistent but has a bit to find with Conflated who beat him six lengths at Leopardstown back in December. He was then taken apart in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival last month where he finished third to a breath-taking Galopin Des Champs. This is not as hot of a race but he will likely find a couple too good yet again.

Envoi Allen

Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: Rachael Blackmore

A former winner of the Champion Bumper and also the Ballymore who again put up another solid performance when placed behind Energumene in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last season.  Whilst he won on his seasonal reappearance at Down Royal, that was followed by an inferior effort in the King George at Kempton. The stable has been out of sorts all year and it is hard to see him turning back the clock to recapture the former glory days.

French Dynamite

Trainer: Mous Morris
Jockey: Darragh O'Keefe

It would be a monumental shock if French Dynamite proved good enough to take this. A winner at races of up to Grade 3 so far in his career, he has yet to show any enthusiasm for achieving much more. He has been beaten by a few of these this season including Fakir D’Oudairies, Conflated and GA Law. Nothing has suggested he is capable of reversing form with any of them.

GA Law

Trainer: Jamie Snowden
Jockey: Jonathan Burke

A costly error saw him fall for the first time in his career during the Skybet Chase at Doncaster back in January. Prior to that, he won a Grade 3 over this course and distance beating Fury Road just under a length. Circumstances last time will not have done his confidence any favours coming into a race such as this against horses that are proven to be his superior. He will likely get around but in his own time.


Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Harry Cobden

Has purposefully been confined to racing on flat tracks such as Newbury, Sandown and Aintree, so the decision to give him a start on such a challenging course is somewhat of a surprise. He has been beaten in lesser events so fully expect more horses to finish in front of him than behind him.

Chacun Pour Soi

Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Danny Mullins

Not the force of old and has never really seemed happy on this course. His eighteen-length demolition by Fakir D’Oudairies last time really has flagged his regression and he looks to have fallen out of love with the game. If he were somehow to recapture his multiple Grade One-winning form he would shake up a few of these, but the chances of that happening here are remote.

Ante-post Prices

4/5 Shishkin, 11/2 Blue Lord, 7/1 Janidil, 10/1 Fury Road, 12/1 Envoi Allen, 16/1 French Dynamite, 20/1 Ga Law, 25/1 Chacun Pour Soi, 25/1 Hitman

Ryanair Steeple Chase Runners Key Trends

Willie Mullins has won this prize five times in the last seven years

The last 9 winners were all French-bred

16 of the last 18 winners were in the front three of the betting

Ryanair Steeple Chase Tips

SHISHKIN is rated head and shoulders above this opposition who have at times proven somewhat disappointing this season. Nicky Henderson seemed to have his eight-year-old right back to where he wanted him when winning the Ascot Chase last time out. He is the only horse rated above 170 in this field and horses with such ratings have won four of the last five renewals of this race. There would be no more popular winner if Shishkin turns on the style that he is more than capable of.

Selection: Shishkin @ 5/6 with William Hill

All odds are accurate at the time of writing.

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