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Cheltenham Ryanair Chase tips (1450): Envoi Allen targets fourth Festival crown, Fugitif seeks frame spot

One of the Festival’s top three chases behind the Gold Cup and the Champion Chase, the Ryanair is chock-full of quality chasers that should give Cheltenham race-goers a race to remember.

14:50 - Ryanair Chase (Festival Trophy) (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

The pick of this stellar field and a firm favourite with bookies and racing fans is Envoi Allen, who has won three of his four completed Festival outings, landing the 2019 Champion Bumper and the 2020 Ballymore Hurdle, and after settling for third behind Energumene in the 2022 Champion Chase, he was back to winning ways to see off Shishkin in last year’s Ryanair.

Planet Sport Bet: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Envoi Allen wins by more than 3 lengths, get a £5 Free Bet!

The 10-year-old has been raced sparingly this season, and was last seen coming a close-up second behind Gerri Colombe at Downpatrick in November, since when he has been kept fresh with this defence of his crown very much in mind.

Not for the first time, Henry De Bromhead has brought his string to Cheltenham in top shape, and in particular has produced some top rides for Rachael Blackmore, who has already landed two wins (Slade Steel and Captain Guinness) and three seconds aboard runners from the Knockeen yard.

Suggested best bet: Envoi Allen in the 14:50 at Cheltenham



There will be plenty looking to knock the favourite off his perch, with the challenge likely to be led by Stage Star, who won the Turners Novice Chase here for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden a year ago.

Winner of the Gold Cup Chase at the November meeting here, he looks capable of bouncing back from his last pulled-up effort here on New Year’s Day, and in Cobden’s Planet Sport Bet blog, he admitted that he expects a competitive race here.

READ MORE: Harry Cobden Planet Sport Bet Blog: Stage set to Star on Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival

The red-hot yard of Willie Mullins wasted no time in landing the six races he required to achieve 100 Cheltenham wins, and we wouldn’t put it past the Master Of Closutton to mark this unofficial St Patrick’s Day by saddling yet another Irish winner in the shape of Capodanno, his only runner in this edition.

After landing the Cotswold Chase around here in January, the eight-year-old ls as capable as any to win this open-looking contest, but over this sharper trip he will have his work cut out against some top-quality chasers with Festival success to their names.

A similar argument could be made for the lightly-raced 2022 Martin Pipe winner Banbridge, while perennial performers Ahoy Senor, Conflated and Protektorat might attract some each-way interest from punters, but would need to up their ante to make an impact in this company.

A more popular outsider punt among Tipstrr’s each-way specialists comes from beyond the usual trainer suspects, with Richard Hobson’s Fugitif looking to crown 15-months of progress with a taste of Cheltenham glory.

Suggested bet: Fugitif each-way in the 14:50 at Cheltenham

Hobson only saddles two runners at Prestbury Park this week (Lord Du Mesnil was pulled up in the Ultima), but connections have high hopes that this nine-year-old can go one better than when runner-up behind Seddon in the Magner’s Plate at last year’s Festival.

He was back here again three months ago and finally won a big pot when landing the December Gold Cup Chase over this trip, seeing off the highly-rated Il Ridoto by a short head, with ten others strung out ten lengths or more behind.

He was less effective in the rearranged two-mile Clarence House here in January, but he is back to his preferred longer trip here, and it might be significant that champion jockey contender Sean Bowen travels to the Gloucestershire course to climb aboard for his only ride of the day.


Ryanair Chase key stats

Top 3 trainers (last 20 years)

  • Willie Mullins - 25 runners, 5 winners and 5 places
  • Paul Nicholls - 20 runners, 3 winners and 3 places
  • Nicky Henderson - 20 runners, 2 winners and 4 places

Top 3 jockeys (last 20 years)

  • Paul Townend - 8 rides, 2 winners and 1 place
  • Rachael Blackmore - 4 rides, 2 winners and 1 place
  • Paddy Brennan - 3 rides with 1 winner

Past 5 winners of the Ryanair Chase

  • 2019 Frodon 9/2
  • 2020 Min 2/1
  • 2021 Allaho 3/1F
  • 2022 Allaho 4/7F
  • 2023 Envoi Allen 13/2 

Britain v Ireland

  • Ireland - 13 winners, 17 places from 78 runners
  • Britain - 3 winners, 14 places from 150 runners

READ MORE: Cheltenham Festival ITV racing tips: Best bets for Day Three on Thursday March 14

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