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14:50 Cheltenham

Soft

Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £218397.93
  • 2m 4f 127y
  • Class 1
  • 11 runners
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Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

Runners: 11 runners

Type: Chase Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Cloudy

8/1 (Won)

  • Win: £10.10
  • Place: £2.40

Form: 5-4323 C

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 10lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 165

Form & Verdict

Can front-run; flopped when bidding for a second success in the Betfair Chase (3m1f); back in better form (over 2m6f-3m2f) since, most recently third in Newbury Grade 2 (half a length behind Hitman on worse terms); ran respectably in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the last two years; has the class to play a major role, provided he copes with this drop back in trip; has not raced over 2m4f since 2021.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Protektorat

11st 10lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

Registered a Grade 1 win over 2m4f at this meeting three years ago; campaigned mostly at further since but proved well suited by the drop back to this distance in the Ryanair at Cheltenham (soft) four weeks ago, staying on strongly to beat Envoi Allen by 4l going away; unexposed at this trip in open company and holds major claims.

11/4

1st

10

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Protektorat

11st 10lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

Can front-run; flopped when bidding for a second success in the Betfair Chase (3m1f); back in better form (over 2m6f-3m2f) since, most recently third in Newbury Grade 2 (half a length behind Hitman on worse terms); ran respectably in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the last two years; has the class to play a major role, provided he copes with this drop back in trip; has not raced over 2m4f since 2021.

8/1

3rd

1

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 1

14:05 Newbury

Protektorat

11st 8lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

took keen hold, led, faced challenge after 4 out, headed 3 out, soon lost second, no chance with winner but rallied from last

9/4

3/1

  • Place: £1.50

Form: 714-32 CD

Last run: 124 days

W: 11st 10lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 164

Form & Verdict

Acts on any going; absent since his close second in Grade 1 thriller at Down Royal (3m) four months ago; similarly fresh when he won this race last year, taking Cheltenham Festival record to 3-5, and he holds very solid claims back here despite his age now reaching double figures; veterans have endured a barren spell in the Ryanair for over a decade but 10yos landed this prize in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Envoi Allen

11st 10lb

J: Rachael Blackmore

T: Henry De Bromhead

Acts on any ground; ran creditably, albeit beaten 4l by Protektorat, at Cheltenham four weeks ago when bidding for a second success in the Ryanair; retains all of his ability aged ten but it's 19 years since a veteran last landed this prize; first visit to Aintree.

11/2

2nd

5

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Envoi Allen

11st 10lb

J: Rachael Blackmore

T: Henry De Bromhead

Acts on any going; absent since his close second in Grade 1 thriller at Down Royal (3m) four months ago; similarly fresh when he won this race last year, taking Cheltenham Festival record to 3-5, and he holds very solid claims back here despite his age now reaching double figures; veterans have endured a barren spell in the Ryanair for over a decade but 10yos landed this prize in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

3/1

13/2

  • Place: £2.90

Form: P-53UU D

Last run: 40 days

W: 11st 10lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 166

Form & Verdict

Versatile ground-wise; looked beaten when unseating rider at final fence in 3m Grade 1 races won by Galopin Des Champs the last twice; disputing second place when falling two out in this contest in 2022; dual winner at the top level and third in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup; ties in closely with Envoi Allen on Down Royal form in November; very good chaser on his day, therefore, and has place possibilities granted a clear round.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Conflated

11st 10lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Versatile ground-wise; dual Grade 1 winner at 3m in 2022; ran respectably when third behind Protektorat and Envoi Allen in the Ryanair dropped back to 2m4f most recently; however, his chance of reversing those placings appears to depend on how well he responds to first-time cheekpieces.

9/1

3rd

4

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Conflated

11st 10lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Versatile ground-wise; looked beaten when unseating rider at final fence in 3m Grade 1 races won by Galopin Des Champs the last twice; disputing second place when falling two out in this contest in 2022; dual winner at the top level and third in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup; ties in closely with Envoi Allen on Down Royal form in November; very good chaser on his day, therefore, and has place possibilities granted a clear round.

13/2

1

3rd Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 70y

15:35 Leopardstown

Conflated

11st 10lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

raced in third, outpaced on turn after 2 out

9/1

OUR TIP

15/2

Form: 3P-631 C

Last run: 47 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 161

Form & Verdict

Versatile ground-wise; not always a fluent jumper but was generally good in that department here last time, winning the Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) over 3m1f; sole Grade 1 success came over 3m (as a novice); has got better with each run this season but may not be crying out for this drop back in distance.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

16th

4

13th Apr 2024

Soft

4m 2f 74y

Class 1

16:00 Aintree

Capodanno

11st 8lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: W P Mullins

His heavy-ground form was over hurdles; not always a fluent jumper but won Grade 2 at Cheltenham (3m1f) in January and matched that career best when fourth in a 2m4f Grade 1 there (soft) last month; he also negotiated these fences in the National last year but folded turning for home and was pulled up, so there is no evidence he will stay the trip.

40/1

4th

3

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Capodanno

11st 10lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: W P Mullins

Versatile ground-wise; not always a fluent jumper but was generally good in that department here last time, winning the Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) over 3m1f; sole Grade 1 success came over 3m (as a novice); has got better with each run this season but may not be crying out for this drop back in distance.

15/2

1st

6

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

3m 1f 56y

Class 1

13:50 Cheltenham

Capodanno

11st 4lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

Useful sort but his Grade 1 success at Punchestown in 2022 is weak form for the level; 0-4 in 2023, well-held third to stellar stablemate Galopin Des Champs at Leopardstown most recently; all of his rivals have stronger claims on balance.

7/1

Form: 115-1P CD BF

Last run: 73 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 166

Form & Verdict

Acts on soft; had an excuse for his flop here on New Year's Day when last seen, having returned stiff/sore; 3-3 over fences at Cheltenham (2m4f) otherwise, including wins in the Turners on this card last year and major handicap in November; a smart and mostly progressive front-runner who holds leading claims, provided he's back on song.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

11

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Stage Star

11st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Acts on soft; had an excuse for his flop here on New Year's Day when last seen, having returned stiff/sore; 3-3 over fences at Cheltenham (2m4f) otherwise, including wins in the Turners on this card last year and major handicap in November; a smart and mostly progressive front-runner who holds leading claims, provided he's back on song.

5/1

0

1

1st Jan 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:05 Cheltenham

Stage Star

12st 0lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

disputed lead, raced in second after 2nd, not fluent 11th, mistake 12th, lost position 3 out, pulled up before 2 out

10/11

1st

2

18th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 44y

Class 1

14:20 Cheltenham

Stage Star

11st 7lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Smart front-running novice chaser during a 2022-23 campaign that included two notable wins at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft), beating Notlongtillmay in Festival Grade 1 on second occasion; flopped at Aintree on final outing but that's not the form to judge him on; major contender back here.

11/2

Form: 2-PP43 C

Last run: 26 days

W: 11st 10lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 160

Form & Verdict

Runner-up in the Brown Advisory at this meeting two years ago; below-par third, albeit having not adopted his usual front-running role, in the Ascot Chase (2m5f, good to soft) last month when racing over shorter than 3m for the first time since 2021; however, he's a spring horse (dual Grade 1 winner in April) and this looks the time to catch him; not bombproof on the jumping front but has major claims on peak form.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

1

11th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:55 Aintree

Ahoy Senor

11st 10lb

J: Derek Fox

T: Lucinda Russell

He can make mistakes and hasn't been at his best this season, albeit dropped back to 2m5f/2m4f the last twice; however, he has an excellent record at this meeting and ran a cracker in this race last year (good to soft) only to be caught by Shishkin close home; also effective on soft; could go well.

11/1

6th

1

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Ahoy Senor

11st 10lb

J: Derek Fox

T: Lucinda Russell

Runner-up in the Brown Advisory at this meeting two years ago; below-par third, albeit having not adopted his usual front-running role, in the Ascot Chase (2m5f, good to soft) last month when racing over shorter than 3m for the first time since 2021; however, he's a spring horse (dual Grade 1 winner in April) and this looks the time to catch him; not bombproof on the jumping front but has major claims on peak form.

12/1

3rd

1

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 8y

Class 1

15:36 Ascot

Ahoy Senor

11st 10lb

J: Derek Fox

T: Lucinda Russell

High-class chaser on his day, as when winning Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham (3m1f, soft) last winter and when close second to Shishkin in Grade 1 Aintree Bowl (3m1f, good to soft) in the spring; pulled up first two starts this season but showed more when last of four finishers in this year's Cotswold despite his rider's stirrup leather snapping at a crucial stage; drops to this sort of trip for the first time since his chasing debut in 2021.

5/1

Form: 106-22

Last run: 95 days

W: 11st 10lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 151

Form & Verdict

Versatile ground-wise; creditable second behind highly notable rivals at Naas (Grade 3) and Cork (Grade 2) since returned to chasing; filled same position in the Triumph Hurdle here two years ago; campaigned mostly at about 2m but pedigree suggests this return to 2m4f is well worth exploring and, being the youngest horse in the field, he has the potential to rate higher still; interesting contender.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

6

1st Apr 2024

Heavy

2m 3f 160y

16:20 Fairyhouse

Fil Dor

11st 4lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

held up in rear, headway 3 out, went third but no extra from 2 out, no match for first two

9/2

7th

6

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Fil Dor

11st 10lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: Gordon Elliott

Versatile ground-wise; creditable second behind highly notable rivals at Naas (Grade 3) and Cork (Grade 2) since returned to chasing; filled same position in the Triumph Hurdle here two years ago; campaigned mostly at about 2m but pedigree suggests this return to 2m4f is well worth exploring and, being the youngest horse in the field, he has the potential to rate higher still; interesting contender.

16/1

2nd

3

10th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 0f 160y

14:15 Cork

Fil Dor

11st 4lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Smart juvenile hurdler two seasons ago; after winning his first start over fences, was well beaten in a couple of Grade 1s, including a remote fifth behind El Fabiolo at Leopardstown; sent back over hurdles and won a Grade 3 event at Gowran; made a race of it with EL Fabiolo's stablemate Dinoblue in a Grade 3 chase at Naas four weeks ago.

7/1

Form: 36-092 D

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 157

Form & Verdict

Has a disappointing strike-rate for a horse of his ability but is capable of smart form, such as third-place finish in this contest last year; clear best effort since when second in Newbury Grade 2 last month, having travelled smoothly into contention then eventually got outstayed by Shishkin over 2m7f on heavy ground; that tees him up nicely for another crack at the Ryanair.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

8th

9

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Hitman

11st 10lb

J: Bryony Frost

T: Paul Nicholls

Has a disappointing strike-rate for a horse of his ability but is capable of smart form, such as third-place finish in this contest last year; clear best effort since when second in Newbury Grade 2 last month, having travelled smoothly into contention then eventually got outstayed by Shishkin over 2m7f on heavy ground; that tees him up nicely for another crack at the Ryanair.

25/1

2nd

4

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 1

14:05 Newbury

Hitman

11st 2lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

in touch with leaders, good jump and went third 5 out, went second going easily just after 3 out, no extra from last, just held second

12/1

9th

1

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

13:15 Cheltenham

Hitman

12st 0lb

J: Freddie Gingell

T: Paul Nicholls

in touch with leaders, not fluent 2nd, mistake 3 out

15/2

Form: 1321-1 C

Last run: 61 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 162

Form & Verdict

Has form on soft but is ideally suited by faster; withdrawn from the Turners on this day last year due to unfavourable ground (soft); Irish 8yo who has impressive statistics, being 4-4 in British races over 2m/2m4f and 2-2 at Cheltenham, including a success in the Martin Pipe over hurdles at the 2022 Festival; solid performance in Kempton Grade 2 on sole outing this season, following up his Aintree Grade 1 win last spring and taking chase record to 4-6; largely progressive throughout his career and commands major respect.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

9th

2

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Banbridge

11st 10lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Has form on soft but is ideally suited by faster; withdrawn from the Turners on this day last year due to unfavourable ground (soft); Irish 8yo who has impressive statistics, being 4-4 in British races over 2m/2m4f and 2-2 at Cheltenham, including a success in the Martin Pipe over hurdles at the 2022 Festival; solid performance in Kempton Grade 2 on sole outing this season, following up his Aintree Grade 1 win last spring and taking chase record to 4-6; largely progressive throughout his career and commands major respect.

4/1

1st

4

13th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 110y

Class 1

14:07 Kempton

Banbridge

11st 5lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Irish horse who has been progressive through his career, including over hurdles; 3-5 as a novice chaser last season, culminating in Grade 1 success at Aintree when taking record in British races over 2m/2m4f to 3-3; looks ideally suited by good/good to soft ground; should make a big impact in open company this season and is very interesting on reappearance.

9/4

1

15th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

1m 7f 176y

Class 1

13:45 Aintree

Banbridge

11st 7lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Won his first two over fences, looking decidedly smart on the second occasion at Cheltenham (2m, good); later held his own in Irish Grade 1s (2m4f/2m1f) on softer ground but confirmed his preference for drier conditions when cosily winning the 2m4f Manifesto here on Thursday; that looks his optimum trip and to win two Grade 1s in the space of three days is asking a lot.

7/2

Form: 25-413 CD

Last run: 47 days

W: 11st 10lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 157

Form & Verdict

Seems to handle any ground; ran respectably in 2m Grade 1 contest here last time, taking Cheltenham record to 222413; has very useful handicap form over C&D, including a second-place finish in the Plate on this card last year and success (came off good pace to nose ahead final strides) in the December Gold Cup; likely to perform well, granted a strongly run scenario.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:30 Aintree

Fugitif

12st 0lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

His last-gasp win over Cheltenham's stiff, extended 2m4f in December (soft) provides some hope he'll see out this trip, and he's back in a handicap after being pulled up in Grade 1 Ryanair at Cheltenham last month; however, it remains to be seen if he stays and he's never shone at Aintree previously.

16/1

7

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Fugitif

11st 10lb

J: Sean Bowen

T: Richard Hobson

Seems to handle any ground; ran respectably in 2m Grade 1 contest here last time, taking Cheltenham record to 222413; has very useful handicap form over C&D, including a second-place finish in the Plate on this card last year and success (came off good pace to nose ahead final strides) in the December Gold Cup; likely to perform well, granted a strongly run scenario.

20/1

3

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 62y

Class 1

14:25 Cheltenham

Fugitif

11st 10lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

Has a consistent record in handicaps at Cheltenham, mainly over 2m4f; the cards dropped perfectly in the December Gold Cup (soft) most recently, coming off a good pace to nose ahead in the final strides; has plenty of ability but doesn't appear to be crying out for the return to 2m, and this race isn't sure to pan out so favourably.

14/1

Form: 5P-671 CD

Last run: 47 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 156

Form & Verdict

Yet to score on ground slower than good to soft in Britain; has form figures of 151 at Cheltenham, comprising wins in major 2m4f handicaps (including latest start) and a creditable fifth in this race last year; should give his running but needs a career-best performance to succeed in this second Ryanair attempt.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

8

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Ga Law

11st 10lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Jamie Snowden

Yet to score on ground slower than good to soft in Britain; has form figures of 151 at Cheltenham, comprising wins in major 2m4f handicaps (including latest start) and a creditable fifth in this race last year; should give his running but needs a career-best performance to succeed in this second Ryanair attempt.

25/1

1st

2

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

13:15 Cheltenham

Ga Law

11st 8lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Jamie Snowden

prominent, not fluent 5th, led 9th, faced challenge when good jump 2 out, soon ridden, kept on well run-in

9/1

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Payout
Exacta £389.00
Straight Forecast £280.00
Tricast £2159.30
Trifecta £3062.00

Selections

SPOTLIGHT:

Envoi Allen

RP RATINGS:

Stage Star

Telegraph:

Ahoy Senor

LAMBOURN:

Ga Law

POSTDATA:

Protektorat

TOPSPEED:

Stage Star

WEST COUNTRY:

Stage Star

The Star:

Stage Star

Daily Mail:

Ahoy Senor

The Times:

Envoi Allen

The Guardian:

Envoi Allen

D Express:

Envoi Allen

Daily Mirror:

Envoi Allen

The Sun:

Envoi Allen

Daily Record:

Envoi Allen