The Ryanair Chase is a relatively new race to be run at the Cheltenham Festival having been introduced in 2005, when the Festival first moved to a four day meeting. Run over two and a half miles, the race is run by horses deemed two slow for the Champion Chase but who don't quite get the Gold Cup trip at Cheltenham. Races such as the Paddy Power Gold Cup and December Cold Cup, both run over course and distance are seen as the best trials. Looking at the form this season it would be advisable to concentrate on the horses who have targetted the Ryanair all season long, rather than those who decide against running in the Champion Chase or Gold Cup come the festival in March.
|Result||Exeter - 6th Nov 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Cue Card 5/6F||6||J Tizzard||C Tizzard|
|2nd||Edgardo Sol 4/1||5||R Walsh||P Nicholls|
This was a blistering run from Cue Card who battered his opponents including second favourite Menorah by twenty lengths plus. As a result, the bookmakers introduced the six year old into the Ryanair Chase betting as one of the ante-post favourites.
|Result||Cheltenham - 17th Nov 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Al Ferof 8/1||7||R Walsh||P Nicholls|
|2nd||Walkon 7/1||7||R Thornton||A King|
|3rd||Nadiya De La Vega 12/1||6||A McCoy||N Henderson|
Paul Nicholls won his first ever Paddy Power Gold Cup with the talented Al Ferof who enjoyed the extra half mile in slow conditions. The seven year old has been shortened in the betting for the Ryanair and the Gold Cup in March.
|Result||Ascot - 24th Nov 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Captain Chris 7/2||8||R Johnson||P Hobbs|
|2nd||For Non Stop 100/30||7||N Fehily||N Williams|
This was a good win for the Phillip Hobbs trained eight year old but the ground was very heavy and fourth place Finain's Rainbow hated the conditions. The winner will go for the King George on Boxing Day and is likely to go for the Gold Cup over the Ryanair Chase.
|Result||Punchestown - 9th Dec 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Flemenstar EvsF||7||A Lynch||P Casey|
|2nd||Sir Des Champs 5/4||6||D Russell||W Mullins|
Evens favourite Flemenstar took this two and a half mile Grade 1 contest at Punchestown and immediately became the ante-post favourite for the Ryanair Chase next March. The seven year old could well go for the Gold Cup however where he's second favourite.
|Result||Cheltenham - 15th Dec 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Unioniste 15/2||4||H Derham||P Nicholls|
|2nd||Walkon 7/2F||7||R Thornton||A King|
|3rd||Golden Chieftan 20/1||7||D Crosse||C Tizzard|
The four year old Unioniste was a convincing winner of a feather weight and has been introduced into the Ryanair betting at around 16/1 as a result.
|Result||Kempton - 26th Dec 2012||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Long Run 15/8F||7||S Waley-Cohen||N Henderson|
|2nd||Captain Chris 16/1||8||R Johnson||P Hobbs|
|3rd||Grand Crus 7/1||7||T Scudamore||D Pipe|
Long Run picked up his second King George beating Captain Chris a head on Boxing Day on really heavy going at Kempton. A number of the entries were trying three miles for the first time and the likes of Cue Card and Riverside Theatre will likely run in the Rtanair come March.
|Result||Ascot - 16th Feb 2013||Age||Jockey||Trainer|
|1st||Cue Card 15/8F||7||J Tizzard||C Tizzard|
|2nd||Captain Chris 11/4||9||R Johnson||P Hobbs|
This was the ideal dress rehearsal for Cue Card who now looks to have strong claims in the Ryanair Chase in March.
Check the form for the other main championship races at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival:
Arkle Form | Albert Bartlett Form| Champion Bumper Form | Champion Chase Form | Champion Hurdle Form | Mares Hurdle Form | Gold Cup Form | Jewson Form | Challenge Cup Form | Neptune Form | RSA Form | Supreme Form | Triumph Form | World Hurdle Form