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.
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).
RYANAIR CHASE TRENDS
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
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:
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: