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Let’s start by looking at the stats for the winner 

  • Irish trained horses have won 5 of the last 6 renewals 
  • All the last 10 winners had previously run at the festival 
  • 7-year-olds have won 6 of the last 10 renewals 
  • The last 5 winners have made an average of 12 starts over fences before winning this 
  • The handicapper has allotted an average rating of 170 to the last 5 winners 
  • Albertas Run (2010, 2011) is the only multiple winner of the race 

Finding the winner 

This race was first introduced in 2005, at first things went very well for the home team, with British trained horses winning the first 11 running’s of the race. Then in 2016, the Irish took notice and Vautour became their first winner in a race they have dominated since, with only Frodon (2019) landing a blow for the Brits. If 2021 is anything to go by, the British may struggle again, as ALLAHO’s devastating performance from the front led home and Irish 1,2,3.

He is a worthy favourite again this year as he bids to emulate Albertas Run and become the 2nd multiple winner of the race. He is very hard to oppose as he has the necessary chasing experience, a good record at the track and he has already proven that he can run beyond the 170-mark needed to win this race. He is still only an 8-year-old and there doesn’t look to be an obvious danger amongst the 2nd season chasers, so although he may not represent too much value in the market, he is one of the more solid favourites of the week for a trainer who has won 4 of the last 6 Ryanair chases. 

Place markets

If backing Allaho to dominate the race at a short price isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps the place market can offer more hope. In recent years several horses have run consistently well in this race, especially if they have form around the new course at Cheltenham. Un de Sceaux won the race in 2017, either side of placed finishes in the Champion Chase in 2016 and this race in 2018. Similarly, Aso placed in this race in both 2017 and 2019, returning £7.60 and £7.00 in the place markets.

Last year’s race also threw up Fakir D’oudairies, who had finished 2nd in the previous year’s Arkle and currently has a record of 1,4,2,2 at the track. He is an obvious pick this year after his win in the Clonmel Oil chase and his subsequent 2nd placed finish to Allaho at Thurles, but the likes of Envoi Allen, Eldorado Allen and even Asterion Forlonge would also fit the bill if this is their chosen target. They all have work to do to beat Allaho given his current form, but their festival record could offer a solid bet in the place markets behind him. 

Exotics 

They don’t always win, but the favourite for this race normally runs its race, with Footpad (2019) the only SP favourite not to finish in the first 3 in the last 5 years. We can probably all agree that if he lines up, it is very hard to see how Allaho isn’t involved in the finish and so that can offer a bit of a “banker” for the Exacta and Trifecta.

The 2021 race saw 3 horses who had all run well at the festival before lead home a 1,2,3 for Ireland, with the future King George winner Tornado Flyer running on into 3rd place to return a Trifecta payout of £370.20. The year before Min held off Saint Calvados and A Plus Tard, who both had winning form at the track, yet the Trifecta still returned £86.00.

Course form is the key to this race, and you could probably do worse than to back last year’s 1,2 for the exacta (£22.60 in 2021) given the form that both have shown this year, but the key is to look for horses who will run their race at the track. 

Placepot/Quadpot 

Allaho looks a solid proposition for these bets. It is very hard to see him out of the frame and the temptation would be to banker him in the pots. Even if they don’t win, the favourites normally run their race and there hasn’t been a double figure return on the winner in the last 10 years, so this doesn’t look to be a race to need to perm too deeply. 


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