2020 Ryanair Chase entries: Last three winners all accept but three-quarters of field have other Festival options

14th September 2021

2020 Ryanair Chase entries include Frodon

Three-quarters of the 44 total 2020 Ryanair Chase entries are also in either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival.

This, coupled with the presence of the last three winners of the extended 2m 4f Grade 1 test among those accepting, suggests that plans remain up in the air for many horses.

A dozen past Cheltenham Festival winners could line-up in the Ryanair Chase, but it is unlikely. Of the field, 14 have an alternative engagement in the Gold Cup and 19 the option of the Champion Chase.

Half of this year’s Ryanair Chase entries are from Irish stables. Willie Mullins is mob-handed with 10 horses, but not all of those are double booked.

This race is the sole championship race option for Cadmium, Voix Du Reve and Yorkhill. The latter is one of two dual Cheltenham Festival winners who could run in the Ryanair Chase.

Eight others horses have Ryanair Chase entries alone to date. They are Irish raiders Articulum and Darasso, course and distance winners Aso, Count Meribel and Lalor, Keeper Hill, Top Notch and Tout Est Permis.

Gordon Elliott and Paul Nicholls will be shuffling their packs. Both have four possible Ryanair Chase runners, but each of their horses could also go in the Gold Cup or Champion Chase.

Frodon, who hails for the Ditcheat stables where Nicholls train, is the defending champ. Previous Ryanair Chase winners Balko Des Flos and Un De Sceaux could take him on.

Cloudy picture leaves market unclear

Given how uncertain it is that horses will line-up in this race, bookmakers don’t agree on who to make favourite.

Some firms have Mullins’ Min heading the market after a second successive John Durkan victory at Punchestown in December.

Connections may keep him apart from old rival Altior, whose sole Cheltenham Festival entry is a bid for a third Champion Chase.

Other bookies put A Plus Tard at the shortest odds after his Grade 1 win at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Trainer Henry De Bromhead is no stranger to Festival success after saddling this horse to land the Close Brothers – a novices’ handicap chase – last year.

The yard has also won the Ryanair Chase before courtesy of Balko Des Flos.

Defi Du Seuil remains market leader with some firms despite him being kept over two miles by Philip Hobbs this campaign to date.

If all does not go well in the Clarence House at Ascot, then the Tingle Creek winner could be rerouted to the Ryanair Chase.

Much may depend on the ground in the days leading up to Cheltenham. It is double figure prices bar those three in the betting, and each has an alternative Festival race under consideration.

Frodon is the shortest of the three previous Ryanair Chase victors entered, but Bryony Frost’s mount hasn’t matched his fine form of last season as yet this term.

Full 2020 Ryanair Chase entries

  • A Plus Tard (Henry De Bromhead, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Articulum (Terence O’Brien, IRE)
  • Aso (Venetia Williams)
  • Balko Des Flos (Henry De Bromhead, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Cadmium (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Cepage (Venetia Williams) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Chacun Pour Soi (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Chris’s Dream (Henry De Bromhead, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Cilaos Emery (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Count Meribel (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
  • Cyrname (Paul Nicholls) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Darasso (Joseph O’Brien, IRE)
  • Death Duty (Gordon Elliott, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Delta Work (Gordon Elliott, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Duc Des Genievres (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Dynamite Dollars (Paul Nicholls) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Footpad (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Fox Norton (Colin Tizzard) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Frodon (Paul Nicholls) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Hardline (Gordon Elliott, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Hell’s Kitchen (Harry Fry) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Janika (Nicky Henderson) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Kalashnikov (Amy Murphy) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Kauto Riko (Tom Gretton) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex)
  • La Bague Au Roi (Warren Greatrex) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Lalor (Kayley Woollacott)
  • Min (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Mister Whittaker (Mick Channon) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Paloma Blue (Henry De Bromhead, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Politologue (Paul Nicholls) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Real Steel (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Riders Onthe Storm (Nigel Twiston-Davies) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Road To Respect (Noel Meade, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Shattered Love (Gordon Elliott, IRE) [Gold Cup entry]
  • Top Notch (Nicky Henderson)
  • Tout Est Permis (Noel Meade, IRE)
  • Un De Sceaux (Willie Mullins, IRE) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Voix Du Reve (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Waiting Patiently (Ruth Jefferson) [Champion Chase entry]
  • Yorkhill (Willie Mullins, IRE)

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