Ryanair tips – Cheltenham Day 3 best bets as Frodon defends memorable title win
Ryanair Chase Tips
Daryl Carter (@darylcarter7) takes an in-depth look at this race and gives the latest of his Cheltenham Festival tips in the Ryanair Chase, which takes place on Thursday, March 12.
The Ryanair betting market is difficult to assess at the moment with runners having multiple entries. Some of those towards the front of the market simply wont run here, so it’s worth focusing on the four who certainly will.
Defi Du Seuil is favourite with some firms at the time of writing but is almost certain to run in the Champion Chase and that leaves the race wide open. It’s worth noting that the average official rating of Ryanair winners in the past is 167 and the average SP is 8/1, so it’s worth concentrating on the head of the market here.
Ryanair Chase Tips – Best in show
A PLUS TARD sits firmly at the head of affairs and is a very interesting runner for Henry De Bromhead. He has run over a variety of trips ranging from 2m-3m in just seven starts, which suggests there is every reason to think he could have even more to offer.
An outstanding winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019, running his rivals ragged off a handicap mark of 144 in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase, he is now rated 21lb higher. The only time the six-year-old has finished outside the first two was on his sole attempt over three miles and he has to rate a major player if lining up here over the trip he was so impressive at last term.
Ryanair Chase Tips – Defending champion
FRODON will attempt to become the second horse in the past ten years to win back-to-back Ryanair Chases. A crowd favourite, who improved with each start on his way to victory last season, he will be a danger to all on his return to his favoured Cheltenham. Trainer Paul Nichols has kept him away from this track this season and he had excuses for his first two poor performances this term.
At Aintree, more than half of the fences were removed due to low sun on his seasonal return and the 3m1f trip in the Betfair Chase would not have been within his compass. A drop back to the Ryanair distance at Kempton in the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase saw him back to somewhere near his best. However, he will need to produce another career-best effort this term to win this again, which is why he will not be featuring in my Cheltenham tips.
Ryanair Chase Tips – Cheltenham’s unlucky loser
MIN, arguably the second-best chaser in the 2m division behind Altior, has had five starts over 2m4f in his career with form figures reading 12111. The most visually impressive performance came in the Grade 1 Melling Chase at Aintree last April, when he devoured his rivals by 20 lengths, emphatically reversing the form with Politologue from twelve months prior.
Min is completely unexposed over this trip, which could prove the key to unlocking further improvement and result in him finally notching a Cheltenham Festival win at the third attempt. It would be harsh to tarnish him as a horse who doesn’t run well at Cheltenham considering he bumped into superstar Altior all three times. It is safe to say he has been below his peak rating of 172 on each of the last two occasions and that just might not be good enough in a race of this depth.
Ryanair Chase Tips – Young gun on the rise
RIDERS ONTHE STORM is the latest to throw his hat into the ring after two impressive performances this season at Aintree and Ascot. Seven-year-olds have a fantastic recent record in the race and Nigel Twiston-Davies looks to have found the key to his big powerful horse who has climbed the official ratings to a mark of 162, from 140, in just two starts.
This powerful mover is now 3-7 over fences and could have any amount of improvement to come. He completes the shortlist of horses at the top of the market to focus on.
Ryanair Chase Tips – Big-race verdict
Outside the powerful four, Bristol De Mai is an unlikely runner but holds an entry in the contest and will outrun his odds of 33/1 if he shows up. He fails to stay the Cheltenham Gold Cup trip and his jumping is much better when able to dictate a pace, while his record after more than a 50-day break in Grade 1 Company reads 12132. The second and third of those figures both came in the Gold Cup, in which he failed to see out the finish up the hill.
The most likely winner at this stage in my mind would be A PLUS TARD, but Riders Onthe Storm will go off much shorter than his current price tag and the race may well be played out between the two.