Cheltenham 2018 Ryanair Chase Winner Odds & Predictions -15th March, 2018

Un de Sceaux to land Ryanair repeat

Cheltenham Festival

About the Ryanair Chase

A Grade 1 feature of the Cheltenham Festival and this is open any horses at least five years old. There will be seventeen jumps for the runners to get over safely over the course of the 2-mile and 5-furlong trip. Even though it is such a popular staple of the Festival it was actually only introduced back in 2005 when the Festival was stretched out to the fourth day. This is also known as The Festival Trophy and it was moved up to its current Grade 1 status back in 2008.

2017 Ryanair Chase Review

It was the popular Un de Sceaux who landed the win for the Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins partnership last year. He delivered a spectacular win as well and moving to the front at the first jump, it was just a stunning show of jumping class from there on out, really stretching the field. Sub Lieutenant did make a late burst for the line to cut the distance to the favourite but it wasn’t enough and Un De Sceaux took the win by a length and half with Aso coming home third, a distant six lengths back. For Un de Sceaux’s triumph, it was the horse that did all the running, Walsh just being a passenger.

2018 Ryanair Chase Preview

It is going to be a chance of a title defence for Un De Sceaux at the Ryanair in 2018. It was such a strong performance from him and with Walsh unable to contain him in the early stages of the race, the jockey just let him go and go he did. Un De Sceaux has only lost six times over his 24 jumps appearances and eight of those victories were Grade 1 outing. Coming back from his break he opened with a mismatch win over Top Gamble in early December and then went to Ascot for the Clarence House Chase and eased to a seven-length victory. He is the one to beat but this is a strong field and is 5/4 favourite at bet365* (betting odds taken a 9:57 p.m. on 9th March, 2018).

Last year’s runner-up Sub Lieutenant was the only challenger that Un De Sceaux had at the end of last season’s Ryanair but he isn’t carrying the form this season to suggest that he is going to get anywhere close to a repeat. He suffered a loss in December and hasn’t been seen since. Min may get a shot at this one for the first time and that will be on the strength of his good victory at the Christmas Festival and finished first but the win was taken from him and given to Simply Ned because of interference. That decision was reversed though. Min did look to be struggling the longer the race went on, and in a move back to two miles, he destroyed Simply Ned at the Dublin Racing Festival. He is going for the Champion Chase, but if Donovan goes there instead, Min could go here.

Cue Card took a pass on the Gold Cup this year to have a crack at the Ryanair where he was crowned the winner in 2013. He is going to be better at this distance than he ever was stepping up to three miles but his last win was back at Ascot last February. He fell at the Charlie Hall in November, was beaten by Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase and then by Waiting Passionately at Ascot this February. He did at least beat Top Notch and Frodon and he looked in pretty good shape despite the defeat.

One of the interesting names in this year’s Ryanair could be Balko Des Flos. He has taken a stack of betting to have had his own cut quite substantial but he actually isn’t carrying too much form at all really. His last couple of outings over this distance have ended in big defeats and although he did get second place to Road To Respect at the Christmas Chase it wasn’t a great run from him at all. It may be one of those occasions where the hype is bigger than the actual genuine prospects.

Piquing a bit of interest as an each way chancer at bet365* (betting odds taken a 9:57 p.m. on 9th March, 2018) is going to be Cloudy Dream. He has some consistency behind him, but it is questionable as to whether or not he can actually dig deeper and pull out a win. Does he have that extra fight? This is a more suitable distance for him by the looks of things and he has taken on and come home second to some top chasers. His four races this season have seen him come home second in each, most recently to Native River at Newbury in the Denman Chase.

Ryanair Chase Last 5 Winners

2013 Cue Card
2014 Dynaste
2015 Uxizandre
2016 Vautour
2017 Un de Sceaux

Ryanair Chase Trends

Ruby Walsh has ridden the last two winners, four in total
Willie Mullins has trained the last two winners
Three of the last five Ryanair winners have been seven-year-olds
The biggest priced winner of the Ryanair was Uxizandre at 16/1 


Ryanair Chase Odds*

Un de Sceaux 5/4, Balko Des Flos 9/2, Min 5/1, Cue Card 11/2, Cloudy Dream 8/1, Yorkhill 8/1, Djakadam 12/1, BĂ©nie Des Dieux 12/1, Frodon 14/1, Bachasson 14/1, Sub Lieutenant 16/1, L’ami Serge 33/1, Le Prezien 50/1* (betting odds taken a 9:57 p.m. on 9th March, 2018).

Ryanair Chase Predictions

Balko Des Flos has far too flattering of an odds price on him and he doesn’t look up to the challenge in this one. Min probably would be is targeting the Champion Hurdle. Cue Card will be backed with a lot of emotion to try and get his second Ryanair win, however it is Un de Sceaux who revelled here last year and can do the same again. He has the form, the power and a title to defence. Our each way shot is the consistent Cloudy Dream.

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