RYANAIR CHASE

The Ryanair Chase is the first of two blue riband events on Day 3 of the Festival.

Run over the intermediate distance of two and a half miles, it is an alternative target to the Champion Chase or the Gold Cup. 

Ryanair-Chase-Trophy
Grade 1 | 5yo+ | Thursday 14.50
2 miles 4½ furlongs | 17 fences | New Course
Weight: 11st 8lb (5yo) / 11st 10lb (6yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2022): £375,000 | 1st: £211,013

Registered as The Festival Trophy, it was introduced in 2005 when a fourth day was added to the Festival.

Given Grade 1 status in 2008, it replaced the Cathcart Challenge Cup which was run over roughly the same distance.

It has been a stepping stone to future Gold Cup glory for Don Cossack (3rd in 2015) and Imperial Commander (winner in 2009).

4 of the last 6 winners were trained by Willie Mullins
8 of the last 8 winners were French-breds
6 of the last 9 winners were aged 7
12/17 winners had won (5) or been placed (7) at the Festival before
13/17 winners had won at Cheltenham previously
16/17 winners had already won over at least 2½ miles
15/17 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
14/17 winners were priced 6/1 or less
6/17 favourites won (1 joint-favourite)

Since its inception, Ryanair Chase trends have strongly pointed to horses with course form and proven stamina.

Seven-year-old's have dominated of late and Allaho was one of only two horses aged seven in the field of 11 last year.

It's now hard to look beyond French-bred horses and Allaho was also one of the four runners with an (FR) suffix last year.

Thus the winning streak for French-bred's extended to 8 in a row (1-2 in six of those).

Thus far, Albertas Run is the only horse to have recorded two wins.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
8
174
11-10
2021
7
162
11-10
2020
9
170
11-10
2019
7
169
11-10
2018
7
166
11-10

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Allaho
Paul Townend / W P Mullins
4/7f
2021
Allaho
Rachael Blackmore / W P Mullins
3/1f
2020
Min
Paul Townend / W P Mullins
2/1
2019
Frodon
Bryony Frost / Paul Nicholls
9/2
2018
Balko Des Flos
Davy Russell / Henry De Bromhead
8/1
2017
Un De Sceaux
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
7/4f
2016
Vautour
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
Evensf
2015
Uxizandre
Tony McCoy / Alan King
16/1
2014
Dynaste
Tom Scudamore / David Pipe
3/1f
2013
Cue Card
Joe Tizzard / Colin Tizzard
7/2
2012
Riverside Theatre
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
7/2f
2011
Albertas Run
Tony McCoy / Jonjo O'Neill
6/1
2010
Albertas Run
Tony McCoy / Jonjo O'Neill
14/1
2009
Imperial Commander
Paddy Brennan / Nigel Twiston-Davies
6/1
2008
Our Vic
Timmy Murphy / David Pipe
4/1
2007
Taranis
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
9/2
2006
Fondmort
Mick Fitzgerald / Nicky Henderson
100/30jf
2005
Thisthatandtother
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
9/2

The 2021 Ryanair Chase winner was Allaho, ridden by Rachael Blackmore:

Having previously chased home Altior in both the Supreme and Champion Chase, Min finally broke his Festival duck in 2020:

Bryony Frost rode her beloved Frodon to victory in 2019, becoming the first woman to win a Grade 1 chase at the Festival:

‘HE IS PEGASUS, HE HAS GOT WINGS’

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary finally won the Ryanair with Balko Des Flos in 2018:

Ruby Walsh won with Un De Sceaux in 2017 with some breathtaking jumping:

Vautour produced perhaps the greatest Ryanair Chase performance in 2016 (the next six home were all Grade 1 winners):

Tony McCoy's victory on Uxizandre in 2015 was his final ever Festival winner:

But perhaps the most popular Ryanair Chase winner was Cue Card in 2013: