Ryanair Chase

The Grade 1 Ryanair Chase was introduced in 2005 as a championship race at the Cheltenham Festival for horses over two and a half miles.

There was previously no top class race for them between the two-mile Champion Chase and the three and a quarter miles of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

It currently shares the spotlight on the third day of the Festival along with the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle. Notable previous winners of the Ryanair Chase include Imperial Commander (2009), Cue Card (2013), Un De Sceaux (2017), Frodon (2019) and Allaho (2021).

Find out more about the Ryanair Chase:

Ryanair Chase

The Ryanair Chase – Race Overview

The Ryanair Chase is raced on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse.

This race takes place on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival at 14:50.

Horses must be five years old or older to compete in the Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase. It covers a distance of roughly 2 miles and 4 furlongs, with seventeen fences to jump along the way.

Cheltenham Festival Ryanair Chase Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2012 Riverside Theatre 8 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2013 Cue Card 7 Joe Tizzard Colin Tizzard
2014 Dynaste 8 Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2015 Uxizandre 7 Tony McCoy Alan King
2016 Vautour 7 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Un de Sceaux 9 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2018 Balko des Flos 7 Davy Russell Henry de Bromhead
2019 Frodon 7 Bryony Frost Paul Nicholls
2020 Min 9 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2021 Allaho 7 Rachael Blackmore Willie Mullins
2022 Allaho 8 Paul Townend Willie Mullins

Ryanair Chase 2023 Odds

The Ryanair Chase 2023 odds are:

  • Allaho – 5-2
  • Galopin Des Champs – 6-1
  • Shishkin – 7-1
  • Chacun Pour Soi – 12-1
  • Energumene – 12-1
  • Edwardstone – 14-1

Ryanair Chase Tips 2023

Below are the tips for the Ryanair Chase in 2023:

  • 2 point to win for SHISHKIN with great odds of 7-1
  • 1 point each way for ENERGUMNE with bigger odds of 12-1

Famous Ryanair Chase Winners

The Ryanair Chase was added to the Cheltenham Festival programme when the meeting was extended to four days in 2005.

It is open to five-year-olds and upwards and replaced the Cathcart Challenge Cup which had been restricted to second-season chasers.

It immediately became established as the two and a half-mile championship and was given Grade 1 status in 2008.

2009 winner Imperial Commander was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Paddy Brennan. He went on to win the Betfair Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following season, famously defeating the Paul Nicholls-trained duo, Kauto Star and Denman. Kauto Star did not jump with any fluency and eventually fell and Imperial Commander was able to run down Denman up the famous Cheltenham hill.

Cue Card was a very popular winner of the Ryanair in 2013, trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by son Joe. He ran here in preference to taking on Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the move was rewarded with a comfortable 9 lengths victory.

Cue Card won the Betfair Chase and the King George VI Chase in the 2015/16 season, setting up a £1 million bonus if he could win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He still looked to be going well when falling at the third last.

The 2015 Ryanair Chase is famous for having provided Tony McCoy with his final Cheltenham Festival winner. He made all the running on Uxizandre in the colours of JP McManus. It was McCoy’s 31st Festival winner with the twenty times Champion National Hunt jockey retiring with 4,348 National Hunt winners to his name.

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh teamed up for back-to-back Ryanair victories with the high class Vautour (2016) and Un De Sceaux (2017).

Mullins won it again with Min (2020) ridden by Paul Townend and Allaho (2021), the mount of Rachael Blackmore.

Allaho’s spectacular display of jumping was rated as the outstanding performance of the meeting by many observers.

Key Ryanair Chase Trials

The Ascot Chase in February is often a key trial for the Ryanair Chase. Nicky Henderson’s Riverside Theatre won the Ascot Chase prior to winning the Ryanair, repeating his victory of 12 months’ earlier after a year off the track. Cue Card also won both races in 2013 at the age of seven. He returned to Ascot to win the same race as an eleven-year-old in 2017.

Vautour was runner-up in the King George VI Chase at Kempton and successfully dropped back in distance to win this race. He was so impressive that many observers wondered if he would have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup that season. Frodon has a terrific Cheltenham record, winning the 2019 Ryanair Chase after taking the Cotswold Chase on his previous visit. Trainer Paul Nicholls resisted the temptation to run him in the Gold Cup that year. The gelding would show his versatility when landing the King George in 2020 under regular rider Bryony Frost.

Aintree is often the next target for Ryanair Chase winners where they have a mixed record.

Our Vic (2008) went on to win the Bowl Chase but Riverside Theatre (2012) and Dynaste (2014) were both beaten in the same race.

Albertas Run won the Melling Chase at Aintree after his Ryanair victory in 2010 and finished runner-up when attempting the same double the following season.

Cue Card (2013), Vautour (2016) and Balko Des Flos (2018) were all beaten in the Melling Chase.

Ryanair Chase Betting Trends

  • The first two in the betting have dominated the Ryanair Chase over the years. Albertas Run (2010) at 14-1 and Uxizandre (2015) at 16-1 are the only outsiders to win the race since it was introduced in 2005.
  • Balko Des Flos (2018) started third favourite at 8-1 but almost all of the remaining winners were either first or second favourite.
  • Seven-year-olds have the best record in the Ryanair Chase, although winners have ranged from six to ten.
  • Taranis (2007) is the only six-year-old to win the race while Fondmort (2006), Our Vic (2008) and Albertas Run (2011) all won this race at the age of ten.
  • An official rating of 162 or higher is usually required to win this race. Vautour (176) was the highest rated winner in 2016.
  • Albertas Run became the first horse to win the race twice when successful for Jonjo O’Neill in 2010 and 2011. The horse attempted a hat-trick in 2012 but was narrowly beaten by Riverside Theatre. He was retired after being pulled up in this race the following season.

Ryanair Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

The victory of Allaho in 2021 provided Trainer Willie Mullins with a record fourth Ryanair Chase success, all coming within the past six seasons. He eclipsed the three winners for Paul Nicholls; Thisthatandtother (2005), Taranis (2007) and Frodon (2019).

Ruby Walsh remains the leading rider in the history of the Ryanair with four victories, two for Nicholls and two for Mullins. Tony McCoy won the race three times, scoring twice on Albertas Run (2010, 2011) and again on Uxizandre (2015).

Betting on the Ryanair Chase

The Ryanair Chase is one of the biggest ante-post betting races of the Cheltenham Festival with odds available all year round.

It features as one of “the big five” ante-post races alongside the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Stayers Hurdle.

Bookmakers have started offering “non-runner – no bet” on the Ryanair Chase from the end of January in recent years.

  • 888 Cheltenham Offer

    888 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30

    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • MansionBet Cheltenham Offer

    Mansion Bet Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £10

    New customers only. Min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK debit card only. Min odds Evens (1/5 per leg in multi selection). £10 Free Bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no Cash Out, max winnings £5k.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Cheltenham Offer

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES

    New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Cheltenham Offer

    Coral Horse Racing
    GET £20 IN FREE BETS

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Green Cheltenham Offer

    Mr Green Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £10 ACCA BET

    New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Cheltenham Offer

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS

    New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Cheltenham Offer

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Cheltenham Offer

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo
    MONEY BACK AS A FREE BET IF 2ND

    New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Cheltenham Offer

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40

    18+ New customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Cheltenham Offer

    Mr Play Sport
    BET £10 GET £15

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Cheltenham Offer

    Betfair Horse Racing
    GET A £20 FREE BET

    New customers place £50 worth of bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100. Min odds 1.2 (1/5). Multiple bets included. Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Paddy Power Cheltenham Offer

    Paddy Power Sports Logo
    BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES

    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • bet365 Cheltenham Free Bet

    Bet365 Horse Racing
    GET FOUR FREE £5 BETS NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED

    One Free Bet available per day with no deposit required. New and eligible UK & ROI customers only. Applies to single bets only. Returns exclude Free Bet stake.

    Full T&C's Apply

Popular Questions

What distance is the Ryanair Chase?

The Ryanair Chase has a distance of two miles and five furlongs.

What time does the Ryanair Chase start?

The Ryanair Chase starts at 14:50.

What are the betting trends for the Festival Trophy

Summary of Ryanair Chase

The Ryanair Chase race at Cheltenham has improved in class in recent years, and while it doesn’t have the same big starts as other Grade One races at the festival, it is still a significant race.

Instead of falling in trip and being outpaced, or going up in trip and being outstayed, this race allows horses to run at their best.

With time, this event has the potential to match the other four major festival races as a true highlight of the festival, just as the others have.

FIND THE ANSWERS TO YOUR FESTIVAL TROPHY QUESTIONS!

Other Cheltenham Related Articles

If you have enjoyed this Ryanair Chase review page, here are some other articles related to Cheltenham betting you may also like:

As the Co-Founder of British Racecourses, I love the chance to share my enjoyment of racing with others. As a family, we have always loved the racing and went to Haydock races as kids, as often as we could. We are now lucky enough to own some fantastic racehorses who we will follow around the tracks and we have had some great wins. As part of British Racecourses, I enjoy visiting and reviewing the racecourses that we visit, all of which I think have something to offer and are brilliant in their own ways.