- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
- 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 Grand Annual Chase
- 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 Mares Novices Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Ryanair Chase Tips - 2:50pm Cheltenham
One of the new races added when the Festival expanded to four days in 2005 the Ryanair Chase is run over 2 miles 4 1/2f and of the 16 runnings so far its Britain that has had the lion’s share of win’s against the Irish 12 to 4, although Ireland have plundered 4 of the last 5. Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls share the most winners in the race with three a piece.
Min just got the better of Saint Calvados with favourite A Plus Tard just behind in third in last year’s renewal.
Willie Mullin’s Min will be back to regain his crown though he put in a very uncharacteristic lack lustre performance against stable mate Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase where he didn’t jump that fluently and was eventually pulled up by Patrick Mullins following his second and worse error. There’s a slight cloud over him now after that effort. Mullins has won three of the last five and has another six entries here. Chacun Pour Soi (is obviously Champion Chase bound),Cilaos Emery, Kemboy, Tornado Flyer, Melon and Allaho. The latter has thrust himself to the front of the market after winning the Horse and Jockey Chase Hotel Chase at Thurles in January. He only beat the 147 rated Elimay there 3 lengths on deep ground and it’s debatable whether that form warrants him being as short as he currently is in the market, though he has finished third in the Albert Bartlett and RSA at the last two Festivals so we know likes the track. Melon beaten a nose by Samcro in the Marsh Novice Chase at last years meeting has run credibly in his three starts this season in top company and his mark of 166 is one of the highest in the race. Kemboy won the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival and his trainer was saying afterwards he may consider running him here and allowing him to bowl along. He has never really fired at the Cheltenham Festival mind with his form figures being 54U7.
Kim Bailey’s Kalanisi gelding Imperial Aura won the now defunct Novices Handicap Chase at last year’s meeting over this distance and appears to have improved further this season winning at Carlisle and Ascot. He unseated early on in his prep race at Kempton but is a consistent horse who looks sure to be in the shake up.
Last year’s runner up Saint Calvados has been campaigned over 3 miles this season, appearing not to stay when weakening close home to finish fourth in the King George Chase at Kempton and unseating his rider when the pace stepped up in the re-scheduled Cotswolds Chase at Sandown when ridden chilly out the back to see the 3m trip out. On his best form he’s a definite player (he does also have a Gold Cup entry but stamina looks the issue for that).
Joseph O’Brien and JP McManus team up with Fakir D’oudairies who’s only run at this intermediate trip resulted in a 22 length victory in a grade one at Fairyhouse in December 2019. He’s run well at the last two Festivals finishing 4th in the Supreme Novice Hurdle and runner up in the Arkle last year to Put The Kettle On. His 8 length silver medal behind the super smart Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase with smart sorts Notebook and Tornado Flyer well beaten off was a decent enough effort and today’s trip maybe ideal for him.
Nicky Henderson has three entered - Altior (surely Champion Chase bound),Janika and Mister Fisher. The latter looks the pick here. He finished 4th in last years Marsh Novices’ Chase behind Samcro and Melon, only beaten 4 1/4 lengths. He proved his re-appearance run in the Paddy Power Gold Cup to be all wrong when winning the re-scheduled Peterborough Chase from Kalashnikov here in December.
Gigginstown Stud’s Samcro has never really hit the heights that was expected of him in his formative years but he is never the less still a very good chaser who just touched off Melon in last year’s Marsh Novices Chase and on that run alone has claims here at a big price. He has however failed to fire in his two outings this season so does come with risks attached here.
Paul Nicholls who is joint leading trainer in this race has four entered - Real Steel (doesn’t look good enough), Master Tommytucker, Greaneteen (more likely to run in Champion Chase) and Cyrname. The latter is the pick here and with an OR of 172 is the top rated in the race. He’s top class on his day and the ‘ can’t go left handed’ theory was totally demolished when he took the Charlie Hall field apart in October. He was a major flop however when pulling up in the King George and has questions to answer now, though if he did turn up (he’s never raced at Cheltenham before) he would be an interesting contender.
This year’s renewal looks a very competitive race and there maybe some each way value with Fakir D’oudairies who ran well at the Dublin Racing Festival and may find the intermediate trip very much to his liking although he also has an Queen Mother Chamion Chase entry so look for the NR NB provisio.Punters Lounge Tip: Fakir D'Oudairies EW NR NB @ 10/1 at BetVictor - Click Here To Bet