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 a 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.
Previous Winners of the Ryanair Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Ryanair Chase 2023.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
SHISHKIN – NICKY HENDERSON
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 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 – WILLIE MULLINS
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 sully 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.
CONFLATED – GORDON ELLIOTT
Finally got his head in front when winning what looked a weak renewal of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown back in December when beating the veteran Kemboy.
Whilst this is not the Gold Cup that he is also entered for, Shishkin seems to be far more reliable. Conflated fell in this very race last year and did well to come back from it. If he can put a solid round of jumping together, he should make the frame.
JANIDIL – WILLIE MULLINS
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 victory, but place prospects once more.
FURY ROAD – GORDON ELLIOTT
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 moth 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 – HENRY DE BROMHEAD
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 to clock to recapture the former glory days.
FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES – JOSEPH O’BRIEN
He skipped Cheltenham last year and headed straight to Aintree, where he won his second Melling Chase. That seemed a likely route once again, until the news broke about Allaho and he now surely takes his chance. Runner-up in 2021, he won the Finesse Juvenile Hurdle in January 2019 and boasts course form figures of 422.
This mid-range trip is ideal and the stiffer track will suit more than Thurles did, where he looked a fortunate winner. Whilst he is a Grade One winner in his own right, he always gives the impression that he will be found out by any genuine Grade One horse.
FRENCH DYNAMITE – MOUSE MORRIS
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 – JAMIE SNOWDEN
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.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2023 Ryanair Chase Tips & Key Trends
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.
- 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
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 4/5 Shishkin
- 5/1 Blue Lord
- 5/1 Conflated
- 6/1 Janidil
- 7/1 Fury Road
- 10/1 Envoi Allen
- 16/1 French Dynamite
- 16/1 Ga Law
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