2021 Ryanair Chase Guide

Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
1
Rachael Blackmore

Allaho

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: -40

Leading the betting for the intermediate champion race for chasers is Willie Mullins’ Allaho. 

The seven year old had a successful novice chasing campaign, narrowly coming second on chase debut he made amends on his second try over fences to an emphatic victory. 

He rounded out the season going off favourite in last years’ RSA. A commendable run, his petrol tank was emptying from the dual with Minella Indo.

Only for both horses to be caught in the shadows of the post by Champ. 

Moving into open company he was well beaten by Min on seasonal debut, didn’t stay at Christmas over three miles but looked right at home dropped back to 2.5 miles at Thurles. 

Picking up Grade Two honours he held off the smart looking Elimay, who currently heads the betting for the Mares’ Chase. 

He looks to have bags of talent and class. 2.5 miles looks his ideal trip and he’s pretty versatile on ground. Is he a Grade One horse?

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-101
23/01/22THU20.5Gd/Y11-121
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-121
27/04/21PUN16Y12-02
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
9
Paul Townend

Min

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 168

Maybe one of the most underrated horses of the modern era, 10 year old Min looks like he has a mountain to climb to reclaim his Ryanair crown. 

The young pretenders are coming thick and fast and he only snatched this race by a neck to Saint Calvados twelve months ago. 

We have no idea how well he ran in the John Durkan as thick fog surrounded Punchestown, but he added another Grade One to his already impressive CV.  Last seen floundering in the Dublin Chase behind stable mate Chacun Pour Soi, his jumping looked laboured, messy.

He just didn’t look like Min.  10 year olds have shaky record in the Grade One races at the festival and it would be safe to assume he’s now on the decline. 

If he retains the ability he had last season he can be in the mix but the likelihood is that the younger chases are now progressing past him. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-10PU
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-12PU
06/12/20PUN20.5Hy11-121
12/03/20CHL20.5Sft11-101
01/02/20LEO17Y11-102
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
6
David Bass

Imperial Aura

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Kim Bailey
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 163

A novice chaser for Kim Bailey last season, Imperial Aura ran in one of last season’s guiding pieces of form leading into the festival handicaps. 

Second to Simply to Betts over 2.5 miles at Cheltenham, Simply The Betts went on to take the Festival Plate and Imperial Aura the Northern Trust listed handicap. 

The eight year old moved into open company this year and amassed a listed win and a Grade Two win in his early outings. 

Not seen since a blunder early at Kempton put paid to his chances of nothing a second Grade Two success. 

The Ryanair has likely been his long term target and a convincing win at the festival last year makes him an attractive proposition.

The form of that race has worked out well since and he looks a really classy animal. 

Highly likely to be involved in the finish and almost certainly of Grade One quality. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/02/22NBY23.5GS11-6PU
04/12/21AIN25Sft11-6PU
20/11/21HAY25.5GS11-7F
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-10PU
09/01/21KEM20.5GS11-6UR
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
8
B J Cooper

Melon

J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 165
Days: -41

Frustrating to follow, Melon is however one of the most consistent horses in recent memory at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Willie Mullins’ nine year old has been second in a Supreme, second in two Champion Hurdles and second in last year’s Marsh, he’s never far away when it comes to the festival. 

Beaten a nose by Samcro in the Marsh, he looked to have immediately booked his ticket for a tilt at the Ryanair this year. 

Moving into open company he’s struggled somewhat. Third in Min in the John Durkan, he’s since had two cracks at miles around Leopardstown.

The further trip just taxing his stamina slightly too much to get truly competitive. Dropping back in trip is likely to suit and he certainly seems to peak in the Spring. 


DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/22KLN20Gd11-82
17/04/22COR24Hy11-81
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-105
19/02/22GOW20Hy11-31
28/12/21LEO24Y11-124
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
4
Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: -41

Bounded onto the scene in the UK when bolting up a Grade Two at Cheltenham for juveniles. His impressive antics saw the gold and green of McManus swoop and purchase him before he was sent off favourite for that years’ Supreme. 

Beaten into the he stayed on like a trooper and hinted then that his future could lie over further than the minimum trip. 

Immediately moved to chasing, he made handy use of his four year old weight for age allowance. Beating Melon on chase debut, he was then a lucky winner of the Grade One Drinmore when Samcro blundered two out. 

Second in last years’ Arkle he again looked tapped for a bit of pace. 

In open company he’s run over two miles to be beaten by Notebook, three miles where he didn’t stay the trip and pulled up and then dropped right back down to two miles to be second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase. 

He doesn’t stay three miles, he’s not fast enough to be effective over two miles. This is his ideal trip and it’s surprising he hasn’t tried it already this season. 

Strong place claims, he should be right at home at this intermediate distance. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/01/23THU20.5Y11-121
19/12/22PUN20Sft11-102
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-105
08/04/22AIN20GS11-71
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-71
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
10
Nico de Boinville

Mister Fisher

J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: -37

Hailing from Nicky Henderson’s yard, Mister Fisher sealed his first win over fences over course and distance last season as a novice. 

He dropped back down to two miles to win the Lightening Novices’ chase on his next start, he rounded out last season coming fourth in a strong renewal of the Marsh behind Samcro. 

This season started poorly with him failing to complete in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, before bouncing straight back to form to win a grade 2 over 2.5 miles at Cheltenham again. 

The rescheduled Peterborough Chase win was the last time we saw the seven year old who’s seemingly been kept fresh for a tilt at the Ryanair. 

He seems to come alive over this track and trip. His form over this course and distance reads 14P1.

He’s certainly in with a good chance to place if running to his usual level around a course he clearly thrives at. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/22KEM16Sft11-8PU
04/12/22HUN20Gd11-104
12/11/22CHL20Gd12-0F
23/04/22SAN23Gd11-62
08/04/22AIN20GS11-7PU
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
12
Non Runner

Saint Calvados

J:
 
Non Runner
T:
 
Harry Whittington
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 167
Days: 40

Somehow only eight years old?! Saint Calvados feels like he’s been around ages for Harry Whittington. 

The key to him was seemingly unlocked last year when upped in trip to 2.5 miles for the Grade Three handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Years Day. 

He got the distance brilliantly and lugged a hefty weight around Prestbury Park to finish second by a nose. 

He was then freshened up before having a tilt at this race last year. Sent off a 16/1 outsider he rallied up the hill and only went down by a neck to Min. 

A superb run just saw him held by one of the classiest chasers we’ve seen in a long time. 

This season he’s been mixing it over three miles but struggling to lie up with the Stayers. fourth in the King George, he unseated in the rescheduled Cotswolds before playing his hand. 

Second last year by the narrowest of margins, he’s surely in with a good chance to go close again this year. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/01/23KEM20.5Sft11-84
19/11/22ASC21Gd11-102
23/04/22SAN23Gd11-01
08/04/22AIN20GS11-75
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-7PU
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
3
Matt Griffiths

Dashel Drasher

J:
 
Matt Griffiths
T:
 
Jeremy Scott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: 26

An eight year old for Jeremy Scott, Dashel Drasher has boosted his credentials in this race off the back of three brilliant wins at Ascot in a row. 

Clearly a track the gelding loves he’s taken his record there to a perfect four out of four. 

An underrated novice hurdler he didn’t try his hand in deep waters over timber and was swiftly moved to fences after one season over timber. It took him a few attempts to get off the mark over fences.

Beaten by Champ on debut, he then unseated next time out against the same rival at the first fence. 

He made amends on his next start however and ran out an easy winner. 

Moving out of novice company saw him well beaten on his first start behind Master Tommytucker but since he’s rattled up the impressive sequence at Ascot, culminating in Grade One honours with a victory in the Ascot Chase. 

Turning form around with Master Tommytucker, he pestered Cyrname for the lead and bullied the former highest rated chaser into submission. 

Clearly very talented, it might be concerning all of his impressive performances have come at Ascot going right handed. Classy but can he do the business around Cheltenham?

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/01/23CHL24Sft11-22
01/01/23CHL20.5Sft11-02
03/12/22AIN25GS11-42
05/11/22AIN20Sft11-21
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-7PU
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
2
Robbie Power

Chris's Dream

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 164
Days: -23

Contested last years’ Gold Cup, the nine year old from the De Bromhead stable has had a very mixed career.

A winner on chase debut, he picked up Grade Two honours over three miles at Navan quite convincingly. 

He bounded to prominence in the staying chase scene with a demolition job in the 2019 Troytown Chase. Carrying his fair share of weight he bolted up in the handicap to justify favouritism despite coming back off a break. 

Dropped in trip off another break he followed up with a Grade Two victory, seemingly the key to him being time between races to freshen up. He then only had a short break before the Gold Cup and disappointed. 

A long break again saw him return early this season over Three miles and go down narrowly to The Storyteller in a GradeOne. 

Last seen finishing behind Min in the John Durkan chase it’s hard to assess how he fared as a race was shrouded in fog. 

An undulating three miles looks to be his ideal, the short break might have been what beat him in the Gold Cup last year.

He’s had plenty of time off but might just find this trip on the sharp side to get competitive. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/01/22GOW25Sft11-1211
04/12/21AIN26Sft11-12UR
10/04/21AIN34.5GS11-7UR
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-10PU
06/12/20PUN20.5Hy11-125
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
13
Jack Kennedy

Samcro

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 160
Days: -81

The nine year old was destined for great things from a young age. Denise Foster trained, he hinted at his immense talent when romping home in the 2018 Ballymore. 

Things never clicked for him again as a hurdler and he transitioned to fences last season. 

A horse who’s had his fair share of problems, his breathing has always been a concern. He took to chasing immediately.

A 17 length domination of average rivals was nearly followed up with a Grade One win but he sprawled on landing 2 out when travelling all over Fakir D’oudairies in the Drinmore. 

Coming off the back of a second to the fantastic Faugheen he was freshened up for Cheltenham where he clung on in the Marsh to beat Melon in a photo. 

This season again hasn’t yielded results. Third on reappearance and Pulled up at Christmas. 

He does seem to come to his best in the Spring and didn’t stay three miles last time out. 

He loves Cheltenham and won the novice equivalent of the Ryanair 12 months ago. Hopefully he’s fully fit and without issues to lay down a strong challenge.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/22KLN20Gd11-6PU
09/04/22AIN34.5GS11-111
17/03/22DRO26Y/Sft11-43
06/02/22LEO21.5Y11-510
28/12/21LEO24Y11-128
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
11
Harry Cobden

Real Steel

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 161
Days: -21

One of the big profile movers this season making the switch from Willie Mullins to Paul Nicholls. Another who contested last years’ Gold Cup.

Real Steel travelled like a dream into the race for Brian Hughes but his stamina didn’t quite last the three miles and two furlongs as he faded back into sixth. 

The eight year old notched up some smart form in Ireland for Mullins and scored an emphatic victory over Footpad in January 2020. 

For Nicholls this season, he ran well on stable debut to be third behind Imperial Aura over two mile five furlongs at Ascot, fitness getting the better of him late. 

Last seen in the King George at Kempton he looked to be getting into contention before a mistake slowed his momentum. He slowly weakened away and failed to complete. 

It’d be hard to give him much of a chance from what we’ve seen this season.

He traveled well in last year’s Gold Cup but there wasn’t much pace on and he still faded up the hill. He could fare better down in trip but he’s a risky proposition. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/22LEO24Y10-81
30/10/22GAL22.5Sft/Hy11-122
23/09/22LIS22Gd11-54
04/05/22NAB26Gd11-84
28/03/22LUD24Gd11-124
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
7
Jack Quinlan

Kalashnikov

J:
 
Jack Quinlan
T:
 
Amy Murphy
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 159

A classy novice hurdler for Amy Murphy, he finished second by a neck to Summerville Boy in the 2018 Supreme. 

He immediately went chasing off the back of his novice hurdle campaign and got off the mark at the first time of asking before handily following up under a penalty.

Unlucky when contesting the 2019 Arkle, he was brought down early by a faller. 

His potential seemingly unlocked on his next run when upped in trip at Aintree he beat La Bague Au Roi during her peak over 2.5 miles. 

This was his last win. He’s failed to bring the same spark to the track since but has still shown his best performances when contesting over 2.5 miles. 

This season he was beaten on debut over hurdles in a deep handicap where he didn’t quite seem to get home on his first try over three miles.

Second in the rescheduled Peterborough again showed him to best effect over the intermediate trip, beaten by Mister Fisher. 

Last seen tested over three miles again, he ran well enough behind Secret Investor but didn’t see his race out as well as those in front and finished third. 

Dropping in trip will suit him but he’s been struggling in lower grade affairs and would need to take a massive step forward to get competitive in this hot renewal of the Ryanair. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22WET24GS11-106
18/03/21CHL20.5GS11-104
21/02/21NBY23.5GS11-03
11/12/20CHL20Sft11-02
21/11/20HAY24.5Sft11-127
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
14
Danny Mullins

Tornado Flyer

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162

Part of the Mullins string, Tornado Flyer looked earmarked for big things when winning a Grade One bumper at Punchestown after coming third in the Champion Bumper at the festival. 

Only running three times over hurdles, he only really amounted to winning his maiden before being swiftly switched to fences. 

A novice Grade Three winner over two miles he was shifted up in trip in last years’ Dublin Racing Festival to finish third behind Faugheen and Easy Game in the Flogas Novices’ Chase.

The two mile five furlong trip looking more to his liking than the minimum distance, he rounded at his novice season with a respectable fifth in the Marsh behind Samcro. 

Returning in handicap company this year he was held behind big price winner Daly Tiger when giving away chunks of weight.

He laid down his credentials for the Ryanair in a tight second to Min in the John Durkan only going down by one length. 
His last two runs have been disappointing.th and beaten out of sight in the Savills Chase at Christmas he didn’t stay three miles.

Then 4th in the Dublin Chase over two miles he got nowhere near Chacun Pour Soi either. 

Returning to 2.5 miles will suit but he looks held on novice form from last year behind horses who line up again here. He would need to improve massively to be having a say here. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/05/22AUT25.5VSft10-107
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-107
18/03/22CHL26.5GS11-10PU
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-101
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-125
Cheltenham - March 18 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
5
Charlie Deutsch

Fanion D'Estruval

J:
 
Charlie Deutsch
T:
 
Venetia Williams
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 157

A French recruit for Venetia Williams, this little six year old hit the ground running when making the transition to his new surroundings by winning a novice handicap chase at Newbury in convincing fashion. 

Riding high on his debut success, connections sent him for the Wayward lad at Kempton, but the tight track asked him too much and he struggled for speed despite going off favourite. 

Given time to strengthen up and continue adapting to new surroundings his seasonal return came at Cheltenham in handicap company. A solid outing saw him carry top weight to second place.

Again looking like he lacked pace for two miles. 

Upped in trip for the rescheduled Peterborough Chase he looked to be delivering his challenge when falling three out. His low and fast style getting the better of him. 

He’s since gone back down in trip for his two subsequent runs. 4th in the Clarence House on deep ground he looked tapped for toe.

Most recently fourth again in the Game Spirit Chase, his lack of pace becoming more and more obvious. 
This certainly looks the right race for him.

He’s prone to jumping errors however as the French style of jumping is low and accurate. He sometimes doesn’t get the lift necessary for a clean jump. 

Hard to trust he should be more at home over two miles and five furlongs if his jumping stands the test against top rivals. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22WET24GS11-93
26/11/22NBY26Gd11-97
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-104
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-73
22/01/22ASC21Sft11-52