Ryanair Chase Date is March, 13, 2020
Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase (2 miles 4 furlongs)
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The Ryanair Chase was first introduced back in 2005, with the race now taking place annually on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival. The Ryanair Chase is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of two miles and four furlongs, with a total of 17 fences to jump for runners and riders.
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Ryanair Chase 2020 Preview & Tips
Preview By Frank Monkhouse
Former professional boxer who is now a content writer specialising in sports and betting. Has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Coral and Betfair covering all manner of sports, from boxing and football to horse racing. A student of the formbook, he loved stats, trends, numbers and how they can guide punters towards a winner.
The 2020 Ryanair Chase takes place on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival at Prestbury Park with backers entering the date Thursday 12 March into their calendar. This 2m 4f Grade 1 event was first run in 2005 and has gone on to provide us with some noteworthy winners over the years.
Past champions include Cue Card, Vautour and Un de Sceaux. Who will come out on top this year and grab the near £200,000 winner’s share of the prize money? That’s a question that will keep horse racing bettors guessing right up until the off.
The following article focuses on the 2020 Cheltenham Ryanair Chase, providing readers with everything they need to know before placing a bet. We touch on the all-important antepost betting market, past winners, trends and even provide a handy betting guide to help you beat the bookies.
Antepost Key Runners & Favourites
It’s Ryanair Chase time. No sooner had the 2019 Cheltenham Festival results been added to the record books and traders at all major bookmakers were scrambling to be first up with their odds for the 2020 races, including the Ryanair Chase.
Bookmakers appreciate the love horse racing punters have for this event and, as such, have put in the work needed to allow them an early bet. The Cheltenham antepost market makes for very interesting reading indeed and shows exactly how the money men expect this renewal to work out.
What hints and Ryanair Chase tips can be taken from the early betting? The Ryanair isn’t known for throwing up too many early favourites so there will be no shortage of value hunters eager to go against the jolly again this time. The level of indecision that exists between major online bookmakers at this stage of the build-up is another factor that makes backers sit upright and pay attention.
If players can get an extra point or two on their selections simply by shopping about, it’s something they will be more than happy to do. The following look at the leaders in the antepost betting for the Ryanair Chase aims to help cut down the studying time by flagging up the firms offering market best price and the gaps that exist.
Defi Du Seuil (8/11)
It didn’t cause too much surprise to see Defi Du Seuil instilled as the antepost favourite to win the Ryanair Chase. If the market leader does run in the race in March there’s no doubt he’s more than good enough to live up to expectations and grab the prize. On paper, he’s the best runner in the current field and will take all the beating.
Having said that, we’ve seen many a strong favourite beaten in the Ryanair over the years and handlers will want to have a long hard think about pitching their prized asset into the field. Is it the right race of the week for Defi Du Seuil. It’s certainly difficult to see past him and he rates as a deserving jolly.
Bet365 give him the credit he deserves but aren’t rushing out and declaring him the winner before the tape goes up. They are offering a market best price of 8/1 and that stands out against a backdrop of bookies offering only 7/1.
The JP McManus owned six-year-old is trained by Philip Hobbs and that has proven to be a successful partnership thus far, winning 10 of his first 15 races and placing on another two occasions. He won the JLT Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year, so knows just what it takes to score around this venue. He claimed that prize thanks to a two lengths lead over runner up Lostintranslation with an SP 3/1 attached.
Chacun Pour Soi (10/1)
Rated as the main danger in the antepost betting, Chacun Pour Soi has a 10/1 price tag attached by the Betfair Sportsbook team. If you do expect the second fav to win the race that is exactly where you should back it as most firms are edging around the 7/1 mark. It would be criminal to take three points less about a runner in such a competitive race, especially when Betfair are happy to meet punters head on and offer a slice of value. Credit must go to them for doing just that.
This French bred runner is owned by Mrs Ricci and she has trusted his development to the capable hands of Wullie Mullins. Any runner out of the famed Mullins yard will be popular during the Cheltenham Festival and Chacun Pour Soi will be no different. He has already attracted bits and pieces of attention by those hoping to jump the queue and secure a lively price about a horse that could win this race with a bit to spare.
The seven-year-old gelding has stats of two wins from two starts heading into the season and, for as impressive as that is, the general feeling is there’s more to come from him. He got off the mark at Naas under the ride of Paul Townend in March and quickly followed that up with a win around Punchestown when thrown into the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase. The team have shown what their runner is capable of and have also enjoyed the summer working to improve him.
Now, Min may or not run in this race. He has been quoted in the antepost list of a few races at Cheltenham in 2020 but the race he will be entered into remains to be seen. In fact, it probably hasn’t even been decided yet. If you are going to back Min to win the Ryanair Chase it would be well worth following the comments of trainer Wullie Mullins before getting your cash down, looking out for confirmation or, at least, any clues that can be picked out.
Min backers will get 10/1 at William Hill about the eight-year-old doing the business here – 6/1 in places – but it would be wise to wait until later in the year. Yes, 10/1 is a great price if Min runs in the race but it is a wasted bet if he doesn’t and his short-term future is just too uncertain at the time of writing. Follow with interest.
Min started the national hunt season with a race card showing nine wins and five runner-up spots from 16 starts and that’s not to be sniffed at. He has bagged some very important races throughout his career and if he was to deliver his best in the Ryanair come spring, that 10/1 would look massive. That much can be said with complete confidence.
Another you’ll find floating around the antepost markets of different races at the Cheltenham Festival, but we would imagine the Ryanair features highly on his handlers’ list of priorities. He’s a gutsy horse who would relish the challenge of being thrown in against this kind of field in front of the packed stands and he couldn’t be written off easily, that’s for sure.
Cyrname is a 12/1 play with Ladbrokes and that’s the best offered at the time of going to publish this article. Again, as we’ve already touched on with the other runners mentioned, antepost betting is all about opinions and that’s the reason there’s a different in the betting between firms. Some have the same horse at 10/1. It goes without saying you wouldn’t want to back a 12/1 winner at 10/1.
Paul Nicholls hopeful has run 13 times heading into the season and has managed to win five of those, placing on another three occasions. He scored back-to-back wins at the start of the year, including victory in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February, beating Waiting Patiently by an incredible distance that proved his class.
Other runners near the head of the antepost betting in the 2020 Ryanair Chase include:
- Altior at 14/1 with William Hill
- Frodon 14/1 Ladbrokes
- Cilaos Emery 14/1 Ladbrokes
- Road to Respect 16/1 888Sport
- Janika 16/1 Ladbrokes
- Kalashnikov at 16/1 when betting at bet365
Go for one of the favourites mentioned or you could place an each-way bet at 1/5 the odds a place 1-2-3 on an outsider with bigger odds attached.
Check out our Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide for the list of TOP 15 betting sites to place a bet on upcoming Festival.
Race Stats & Trends
As already mentioned earlier in this article, many successful backers like to take their lead from the trends and its little wonder. If you look hard enough and do the research needed you will be surprised how often the trends lead to a winner. Below are some of the trends you should keep in mind when placing your 2020 Cheltenham Festival bets.
- The most successful horse ever to run in the Ryanair Chase, first raced in 2005, is Albertas Run who has won the title twice. He first entered the winner’s enclosure in 2010 and remains the only horse to successful defend the trophy, repeating the feat 12 months later. Some aren’t good enough to do two on the bounce while others move on to bigger and better things.
- The leading jockey in the Ryanair Chase is Ruby Walsh and that will come as no shock to anyone, even those with only a passing interest in UK horse racing. The famous jockey has sat on four winners, being Thisthatandtother in 2005, Taranis 2007, Vautour 2016 and Un De Sceaux in 2017. Will there be more to come from Ruby this year?
- There’s no questing the leading trainer in this sphere either and that is Paul Nicholls who has three titles glistening away in his trophy cabinet back at the yard. He landed his first thanks to Thisthatandtother and was boosted by wins for Taranis and Frodon. It would be a brave punter who bet against him getting number four in the coming years.
- Age is just a number, right? Not if you’re betting on the Ryanair Chase it isn’t. A seven-year-old horse has won each of the last two races, four of the last five and no less than five of the seven most recent starts. Keep your eye out for the seven year olds this time.
Horses aged five years and older are able to take part in the race, with the Ryanair Chase having been upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status in 2008. The Ryanair Chase is now one of the most popular races when it comes to Cheltenham Festival betting, with 8/1 shot Balko Des Flos having upset favourite Un De Sceaux in 2018. Balko Des Flos won by a margin of four and a half lengths from Un De Sceaux, with Cloudy Dream a further eight lengths back in third.
Jockey Ruby Walsh is the leading jockey when it comes to the Cheltenham Ryanair Chase, with the 39-year-old having four successes to his name over the years, onboard Thisthatandtother, Taranis, Vautour and Un De Sceaux. Meanwhile, trainers Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O’Neill, Nicky Henderson, David Pipe and Willie Mullins all have two Ryanair Chase wins to their name, while Henry de Bromhead came out on top last year with Balko Des Flos.
Albertas Run is the only horse to have ever won the Ryanair Chase twice, with jockey Tony McCoy having led the thoroughbred to consecutive victories in 2010 and 2011. Both 2017 and 2018 winners Un De Sceaux and Balko Des Flos are among the outsiders in the Ryanair Chase 2019 betting markets, with the likes of Footpad and Monalee being the leading candidates this time around. However, with the race being known for upsets and surprises, then it could well be that there is another shock winner at Cheltenham this year.
Ryanair Chase Betting Offers
The closer we get to the Ryanair Chase 2020 off, the more betting offers you will find available at bookmakers. These are given in the hope you will bet with one bookmaker over another at the festival. Do your homework and look around for the most appealing promotions.
We can get an idea of what to expect by looking back at offers that have been popular in the Ryanair and other Cheltenham Festival races in the past. These include extra places each-way, money back if your horse falls, price boosts and even free bets.
Ryanair Chase Betting Guide
Do Your Research
Read reviews before parting with your hard-earned cash. This is true if you are betting on the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham or indeed any major sporting event. The more knowledge you have on a contest the more chance you have of making a profit. It really is as simple as that. Research form, stats, injury, illness, ground, gossip and interviews. Pretty much anything you can get your hands on that could make you a better punter.
Look For Better Odds
Check an odds comparison website before placing your bets to see if there could be a bookie offering a bigger price on your runner of choice. The site will show every major firm betting on the race and their latest odds offered, with the top price highlighted. It may sound basic but go with the bookie offering the best odds. Too many backers don’t.
Enjoy Perks of Antepost Martket
Antepost betting gives backers the chance to support their runner at a bigger price than will be available to those leaving it until the afternoon of the race. In most cases, the earlier you bet the better price you’ll get. This comes with a risk, however. If you back a horse to win a certain race and it doesn’t run in that contest, you’ll lose your stake without ever getting a run for your money. Weigh up risk vs reward if betting antepost. How confident are you a horse will make the final field? Is it worth the bigger price to find out?
Take Tips from Industry Experts
Take Cheltenham Festival betting tips from respected named and sites. If you are taking the advice of a tipster make sure they can back up their credentials with past results from this season and the last few years. You want to see a profitable balance sheet here. Look out for the best Ryanair Chase tips 2020.
Get Access to Live Streaming
Live streaming is offered by an increasing number of online betting sites and mobile apps. This gives punters the chance to place their bets and watch their runner on an HD quality live stream at no extra cost. Coral, for example, will stream all Cheltenham Festival races live and give free coverage of UK and Irish racing every day.
Ryanair Chase Past Winners
Last 10 Ryanair Chase winners:
- Frodon – 2019
- Balko des Flos – 2018
- Un de Sceaux – 2017
- Vautour – 2016
- Uxizandre – 2015
- Dynaste – 2014
- Cue Card – 2013
- Riverside Theatre – 2012
- Albertas Run – 2011
- Alberta Run – 2010
The last 10 winners is always a useful tool when sizing up your bets, especially for backers who like to keep on the right side of the trends. Looking through past performances and winners often throws up a clue as to who you should support, be it a horse, trainer or even a jockey.
What Happened in 2019?
Last year’s Ryanair Chase was won by Frodon under the ride of Bryony Frost for trainer Paul Nicholls. The team delighted backers who were on the SP but there was a bigger price available to those who snuck in early and gambled on the antepost market.
The champion finished ahead of Aso in second with Road to Respect crossing the line in third place. That gave Nicholls his third Ryanair Chase winner since the first in 2005. Frodon came good carrying an SP 9/2 and was just over a length better than 33/1 shot Aso who came painfully close to pulling off what would have been a massive upset. Road to Respect was also sent off a 9/2 play that day.
Ryanair Chase Key Trials
Between now and March 2020, the most shrewd of backers will be studying the national hunt season and, in particular, any Cheltenham Festival race trials that pop up. Pay close attention to the results of these, including winning times as they may prove very useful indeed. The Ryanair Chase trial gives backers a chance to see the main runners compete over a similar track and trip.
Past Ryanair Chase Trials
Upcoming Ryanair Chase Trials
- John Durkan Chase – 8th December 2019
- Savills Chase – 28th December 2019