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 three starts over 2m4f.

Last time out he ran really well in defeat at the Dublin Festival where he was beaten just over 3 lengths by Chacun Pour Soir over a shorter trip. The pair were well clear of anything else and that will set him up perfectly for this test.

Duc De Genievres is the Mullins third string but we shouldnt forget he won the Arkle last season. Things havent really gone right since then and has something to prove here. He ran a fair race when second at Kempton over Christmas and then last time was a faller behind Chacun Pour Soi and Min, he was well beaten at the time.

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.

Venetia Williams saddles Aso who ran a blinder to finish second here last year behind Frodon. He started this campaign with a third at Wetherby and then was disappointing when only 5th in the Peterborough Chase. He was beaten a long way in the King George over three miles and this shorter trip will definitely be in his favour. I think this years renewal looks a stronger contest and he might well struggle to repeat last years effort.

Shattered Love and Saint Calvados complete the eight-runner field but both will need a personal best to get involved here.

It looks a straight battle between Min and a A Plus Tard and there is nothing to choose between them, on this occasion i'm siding with the De Bromhead runner as he knows how to win at Cheltenham.

Punters Lounge Tip: A Plus Tard 2/1 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
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