Ryanair Chase

14 Mar

Peter Cahill’s preview of the Ryanair Chase:
Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day

Stats Guide:
Based on the stats from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:

  • Aged 8 to 10 (or a French bred 6 or 7yo)
  • Finished in first 3 last time (or ran in the King George)
  • Achieved RPR of 154+ on last chase run
  • Won over 2M 5F+
  • Previously won a graded chase at Cheltenham
  • Previously won a grade 1 chase
  • Had 1 to 4 runs since October
  • Officially rated 152+
  • Won or placed in December or Paddy Power Gold Cups
  • Ran in the King George this season or last season
  • Finished in first 3 in last year’s Ryanair
  • Finished in first 3 in Ascot Chase last time out
  • Trained by Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson or Jonjo O’Neill
  • First 3 in the betting (6/1 or below)

Stats Verdict:

  1. Cue Card
  2. Riverside Theatre
  3. Albertas Run


First Lieutenant 5/2
Cue Card 3/1
Riverside Theatre 6/1
Champion Court 13/2
Menorah 8/1
Albertas Run 9/1

One of my favorite horses runs in this and that is the the Mouse Morris trained First Lieutenant. I’ve been looking forward to this running.  He was aimed at the Gold Cup all season up until recently when he was switched to this race. He is owned by Michael O Leary the owner of Ryanair. He will be hoping to win his own race. First Lieutenant has top form at the last two festivals. He won the Neptune Hurdle in 2011 and had a scrap with Bobs Worth all the way up the hill in the RSA Chase last year until the latter’s superior stamina came into play late on. He is versatile trip wise but a strongly run race at this distance should suit him down to the ground and the late decision to come here instead of the Gold Cup could well pay handsome dividends. I think he is the bet of the day, heck bet of the week! 

Cue Card his main danger excelled at everything he’s tried, winning the bumper here in 2010 and a leading novice hurdler before turning into a top ranking chaser. He never gave up trying when chasing home superstar Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle 12 months ago  and his reputation enhanced if anything by two wins this season. The worry about this race is that its will come relatively quick as he goes so well fresh. He has great form over this trip but I think that First Lieutenant will outstay him.

Riverside Theatre who is owned by actor James Nesbit has run twice at the festival, fifth in the Arkle and just getting the better of Albertas Run in this race last year. The only poor runs of his entire career were in only two subsequent starts but he was not well as he was treated for ulcers since his latest run. You couldn’t rule out comeback by such a consistent performer with the ground drying out. Albertas Run has a wonderful record here. Winning the RSA Chase in 2008 and this race in 2010 and 2011. Returning from injury related layoff last year  he only just lost out to Riverside Theatre but an even longer absence to overcome this time. He likes quick ground and pulled up only previous run in cheekpieces four years ago. This may be his last run.



Nap: First Lieutenant
NB: Cue Card


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