Ryanair Chase Trends

Cheltenham Ryanair Chase Stats And Trends

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Ryanair Chase Trends 2023

Possibly the lesser valued championship race of the festival (yes it is a championship race) the Ryanair see’s the best middle distance horses fight for Grade 1 honours.

Ran over two miles and 4 1/2 furlongs, it gives an option to those not fast enough for the Champion Chase and not stamina potent enough for the Gold Cup.

Last year Allaho put up one of the performances of the festival to take the event with ease for a second year running but having picked up a setback it leaves the race wide open.

Stat One

With the Grade 1 races, age is always a good place to start to begin narrowing the field down.

All of the last 15 winners were aged 7-10 years old.

Furthermore, 13 of the last 14 winners were aged 7-9 years old.

The latter bracket gives us a strong platform to start narrowing the field down. Albertas Run is the only exception to this rule, winning the 2011 running under A P McCoy as a 10 year old.

Narrowing the focus down to those within the bracket, it’s looking unlikely that 11 year olds Sceau Royal and Chacun Pour Soi will win this event.

Stat Two

Peaking at the right time is essential when it comes to winning at the Festival. If a horse has left it’s best run of the season behind it in the Winter, it might be bottomed out by the time the Spring festival rolls around.

14 of the last 15 runners had four or fewer runs that season prior to lining up in the Ryanair.

Look for those who haven’t been overexerting themselves prior to Cheltenham, this is a Grade 1 after all and being in peak condition is important.

Stat Three

With this being a Grade 1 and a Championship race, there’s a class barrier to establish in the field, with 13 of the last 14 winners were rated 161 or above.

Immediately this defines the area to look at in the field.

Those rated less than 161 might not have the quality to get involved in the finish.

The last six winners have been rated:

Allaho 174

Allaho 162

Min 170

Frodon 169

Balko Des Flos 166

Un De Sceaux 171

Vautour 176

Class tells at the top table, the last 6 winners have all been rated 162+.

Stat Four

Adding to the class angle, previous form in a Grade 1 is important here.

11 of the last 15 winners of the Ryanair had already previously won a Grade 1.

Arrow your focus down to those who are proven at this level. If they’ve struggled in Grade 1 company before it might be they don’t have the class to be competitive at this grade.

Horses this may effect are French Dynamite, Pic D'Orhy, Ga Law and Hitman.

Stat Five

Adding to previous Grade 1 form, you should also be looking for those who have previous Cheltenham form.

11 of the last 15 winners have previously won a race at Cheltenham before the Ryanair.

10 of the last 13 winners had previously won a chase around Cheltenham.

Nine of the last 12 winners had previously won a graded chase at Cheltenham.

Course form is highly important. Pay attention to those telling clues of a “C” next to your pick's name. Handling the hill is a positive clue they can do well in the Ryanair.

If you have a previous course and distance winner in a Grade 1 at Cheltenham, you could be on to a winner.  

Stat Six

To keep ticking the boxes of the previous form, look for runners who had previously ran at the Festival.

13 of the last 15 winners ran at the previous year’s festival. Pay attention to horses who turned out at Cheltenham last year.

Having experience at the festival is a massive positive. They go harder here and tend to have big fields. Practice in this environment is a huge positive.

Be cautious giving backing to horses who didn’t run in the festival last year or have no festival experience. They might not handle the big occasion, this doesn't help the case of Fakir D'oudairies and Pic D'Orhy.

To dig further into the form, 10 of those 12 winners ran in the previous year’s Arkle, Marsh or Ryanair.

These races are good indicators for those who will perform well in this race. Especially previous Ryanair experience and Marsh experience as they cover the course and distance.


Only six of the last 14 favourites have won the Ryanair. The market has a habit of earmarking the wrong horse as the favourite.
But, 12 of the last 14 winners have been in the top three in the betting.

Although favourites might disappoint it can pay to keep your attention near the top of the market, however the favourite has won the last two renewals of this race.

Value Angle - Shishkin

Shishkin off the back of his win in the Grade One Ascot Chase is the strong favourite for this race, but what he does do is cover nearly every trend in this race.

A two time Cheltenham festival winner in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Arkle Novices' Chase, he did disappoint in the Champion Chase last year, but has now been moved up in trip and looks better than ever.

He is close to being one of the bankers of the meeting off the back of his latest performance.