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The Favourites For The Ryanair Chase

As the Cheltenham Festival draws near, aficionados of National Hunt racing eagerly await the thrilling spectacle that is the Ryanair Chase.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Elisa Mueller
Feb 27, 20241.4K Shares61.1K Views
As the Cheltenham Festival draws near, aficionados of National Hunt racing eagerly await the thrilling spectacle that is the Ryanair Chase.
Positioned as one of the premier events of Day Three, this Grade 1 showcase of staying chasers promises excitement, drama, and fierce competition on the hallowed turf of Prestbury Park.
In this article, we delve into the contenders who are poised to stake their claim for glory in this prestigious contest — analysing their form and prospects as favourites in the Ryanair Chase odds 2024.

Banbridge – 11/4

Banbridge is a two-time winner at this course, landing the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2022 Festival before scoring over fences in the Grade 2 Arkle Trial at the November meeting later that year.
He missed the Grade 1 Turners Novices’ Chase last March due to unsuitable ground but Banbridge will be hoping to keep his unbeaten record intact at Prestbury Park when he lines up for the Ryanair Chase.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained horse made his seasonal reappearance at Kempton in January, winning the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conte Chase, and looks like the one to beat on that form.

Envoi Allen – 4/1

Envoi Allen stunned the Cheltenham crowd last year when beating the short-priced favourite Shishkin to win the Ryanair Chase from 13/2, and the Henry de Bromhead-trained horse is 4/1 to retain his crown.
The 10-year-old hasn’t been able to replicate that form since, however, finishing a distant second-last at Aintree in April before coming in midfield in the Grade 2 Champion Chase at Gowran Park on his reappearance in September.
Envoi Allen was a respectable second behind Gerri Colombe in the Grade 1 Down Royal Champion Chase in November, but his Cheltenham prep has been marred by unsuitable ground in December and coughing in January.

Stage Star – 5/1

Another former Cheltenham Festival winner, Stage Star adds an extra layer of intrigue to what promises to be a thrilling renewal of the Ryanair Chase.
The Paul Nicholls-trained horse had an excellent campaign last year, winning three times in four outings en route to Cheltenham, and he produced a career-best performance to win the Turners Novices’ Chase.
Stage Star was then last of five runners at Aintree in April, and claims that he was disappointing due to a demanding season appeared to have some substance when he bounced back in the Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November.
However, he was pulled up by jockey Harry Cobden when last season at Prestbury Park on New Year’s Day, with Nicholls claiming the horse was stiff post-race. That’s some cause for concern and you’d need to be very wary before backing Stage Star with your Cheltenham welcome offers.
This is a rare race at the Cheltenham Festival where Willie Mullins does not have a horse in the top three of the betting.
But, the esteemed trainer — who has won this contest five times in the last eight years — does have a few outsiders who could swoop in and steal the prize, like Capodanno (10/1), Appreciate It (12/1), and Classic Getaway (14/1).
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James Pierce

James Pierce

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

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