- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 Northern Trust Novices Chase
- 5:30 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Boodles Handicap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 Marsh Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Dawn Run Mares Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Ryanair Chase Tips - 2:50pm Cheltenham
2020 Ryanair Chase Preview
After a run of three victories for the Irish trainers the Ryanair Chase was won by Paul Nicholls last season with his ever popular 8yo chaser Frodon. The win brought the house down mainly due to the partnership between the horse and jockey Bryony Frost. It was also the first time a lady rider had won the Grade 1 contest.
For Nicholls it was his third win since the race was established in 2005 and will be eyeing up a fourth as Frodon arrives in top form. The horse was below par in the Betfair Chase, whether that was the trip or the opponents or maybe both? He was well beaten that day and connections reverted back to type next time out and was dropped half a mile for the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.
That day Frodon showed all his old qualities and never looked like getting beat, if gets to dictate the pace here he will be a hard horse to pass and one thing is for sure the crowd will be willing him home.
With Defi Du Seuil opting for the Champion Chase it leaves the home side a bit thin on the ground this year. Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles an interesting runner in Riders On the Storm and he could step forward and bridge the gap to Grade 1 status.
He didn’t make much impact last season in Ireland and has certainly looked a different proposition since coming over to England and joining Twiston-Davies. He kicked off by winning a Class 2 handicap at Aintree off 140 and then was made favourite to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, unfortunately due to an admin mix up he couldn’t run but made up for that disappointment by bolting up at Ascot a week later.
It was certainly questionable as to what he beat that day but he is now rated 162 on the back of that which puts him within touching reach of former winners of this race.
Willie Mullins won this race with Vautour and Un De Sceaux and the latter was found to be lame in preparation for this race and has now been retired but the yard also have Min who for the last three years has had to play second fiddle to Altior (twice in the Champion Chase and once in the Supreme Hurdle). This time round he bypasses his old rival and has a go at the longer trip. The distance should pose no problems at all and in fact he has won his last starts over 2m4f.
Footpad represents the double green team of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and was made favourite for this race last season. He didn’t fire that day and trailed in 8th but bounced back this season with a win at Thurles in November. Since then he has been beaten in the King George over three miles and by stablemate Real Steel so has a bit to prove at the moment.
Real Steel is probably more interesting and has won three times this season. His only defeat came in a Grade 1 at Punchestown behind Min but has improved since with a smooth victory at Thurles where he slammed Footpad by 14 lengths. He will like the decent ground we often get at Cheltenham and won’t be far away here.
Away from the Mullins yard and one horse that will be high on most people’s lists is A Plus Tard who won here at the Festival last season when taking the Close Brothers Chase by 16 lengths. He won that off a mark of 144 and is now rated 165 so no more handicaps for this fellow.
He kicked off the season with a slightly below par effort behind a fit Ballyoisin at Navan but then came right back to form with a smooth success at Leopardstown from the highly regarded Chacun Pour Soi. That was over an extended two miles and is possibly better over this longer trip so has to come here with every chance.
Of the others at bigger prices we have the ever green Politologue who has ran in the Champion Chase for the last two years but has decent form over this sort of trip. He travels well in his races and wont be too far away.
Nicky Henderson has won this race twice and his 7yo Janika is not without a chance on his best form. He ran a cracker when second in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Plate last March and then went on to finish 4th in the Topham Chase at Aintree. Both efforts carrying big weights.
This season he was fourth in both the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House races suggesting a tilt at the Champion Chase was on the cards. He has obviously came up short in that quest but this type of race could be made for him.Punters Lounge Tip: A Plus Tard 11/2 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
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