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 thirteen 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 ten of the last twelve winners coming from one of the front three in the betting market on the day.
Eleven out of the last twelve winners had run at least twice at Cheltenham before.
Previous Winners of the Ryanair Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Ryanair Chase 2021.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Allaho – Willie Mullins
Allaho had started to look disappointing at the beginning of the year but turned in a winning performance when getting the better of Elimay in a Grade Two at Thurles back in January.
That mare dropped in grade to win a listed race at Naas the following month, but it was still a boost to the form.
Allaho has a lot more on his plate here however as he is set to line up against several Cheltenham specialists.
He ran a good race against Champ in the RSA last season but seemed to tire when he got to the hill.
This drop in trip may help and he has solid place claims.
Min – Willie Mullins
Min needs to recover from having been pulled up at the Dublin Racing Festival in a race that went to Chacun Pour Soi.
He is the reigning champion coming to defend his crown, but Willie Mullins will need to have brought him right back to his best.
A return to two and a half miles will certainly make him feel more at home and ought to give another good showing.
Imperial Aura – Kim Bailey
Imperial Aura was sent off as a favourite for the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton at the turn of the year but no further than the second fence.
He has stacks of good form around here though and has won or been placed on each of his last three starts at this track.
If Kim bailey has him back on song, he looks a danger to the rest.
Melon – Willie Mullins
Melon loves it here and seems to save his best for this course.
Ultimately though he does find it hard to win.
His recent fifth to Kemboy at Leopardstown was bitterly disappointing though.
He will need to pull himself together if he is to finish in the frame for a fourth consecutive festival.
He does have something to find with stablemate Min though who beat him seven lengths at Punchestown a few weeks prior to Christmas.
Fakir D’Oudaries – Joseph O’Brien
Fakir D’Oudaries wasn’t beaten far in the Arkle by Put The Kettle On last year and has subsequently turned in two decent enough performances over two miles this year.
The six-year-old may well appreciate this return to two-and-a-half miles though having won by two dozen lengths at Fairyhouse on the only other occasion he has attempted it.
He is a previous course winner too and he can’t be ruled out.
Mister Fisher – Nicky Henderson
Mister Fisher won a Grade Two race here back in December when getting the better of Kalashnikov.
It certainly was an improvement from his seasonal reappearance where he pulled up behind Coole Cody in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old has often run well here in the past and he looks sure to put the effort in yet again.
Nicky Henderson last won this race with Riverside Theatre.
And Mister Fisher wouldn’t have to find a great deal in order to get involved.
Samcro – Denise Foster
Samcro had his nose in front just at the right time when getting the better of Melon in the Marsh Novices’ Chase here last season.
Despite a six-month break, he was beaten all to easily on his seasonal return behind Battleoverdoyen at Down Royal in October.
He then pulled up disappointingly behind A Plus Tard in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown when asked to tackle three miles for the first time.
This step back in trip will help but there are clear concerns about his attitude at the moment and it may be best to look elsewhere.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2021 Ryanair Chase Tips
This looks to be as competitive as ever but the one I keep getting drawn to is Imperial Aura.
He was unlucky with his fall at Kempton last time and is far better than that.
His record around here reads well and with question marks hanging over the likes of Min and Melon and their underperforming last time, he has to be seriously considered.
Allaho is talented but he folded too quickly for my liking in the RSA last year.
Mister Fisher looks the type to put in another solid performance and Dashel Drasher has been in fantastic form all year.
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 4/1 Min
- 9/2 Allaho
- 9/2 Fakir D’Oudaries
- 13/2 Melon
- 15/2 Samcro
- 17/2 Imperial Aura
- 17/2 Mister Fisher