Cheltenham - At The Races

14:50 Cheltenham 15 Mar 2018

Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Class 1) (5YO plus)

Winner £199,325 - 6 ran

3

2m 4f 166y

Soft (Heavy in places)

View Course Guide

Weighed In

Gary Nutting
by Gary Nutting

Published 31st January

It’s probably worth taking the Jeffersons' entry for WAITING PATIENTLY in the Ryanair Chase - at least with the non-runner no-bet firms.

The North Yorkshire trainer stable isn’t far off the mark with their Cheltenham raids and this most progressive 7yo passed a big test when thrashing smart sorts on his first venture south at Kempton recently.

Unbeaten over fences and since joining Jefferson from the now-retired Keith Reveley, the gelding toyed with proven Grade 1 rivals just as he had with the opposition in less valuable events closer to home.

Not that he was beating trees in the north, his victims in separate races including subsequent Tingle Creek winner Politologue and the useful Venetia Williams-trained duo Belami Des Pictons and Burtons Well.

A supremely efficient jumper with a high cruising speed, Waiting Patiently has no Cheltenham experience but if his trainer decides he’s good enough to go to the Festival it’s a hint worth taking.

Jefferson also has him in the Champion Chase but his last three runs have been over 2m4f and this would seem the more likely target, especially now he’s shown he doesn’t necessarily need testing ground to be seen at his best (last two wins on good to soft).

A supremely efficient jumper with a high cruising speed, Waiting Patiently has no Cheltenham experience but if his trainer decides he’s good enough to go to the Festival it’s a hint worth taking.

Title holder Un De Sceaux is a deserved favourite after two further wins this season (impressive both times), although his bold-jumping, attacking style could help set things up nicely for the selection.

Furthermore, of course, Willie Mullins has multiple entries to choose from - Douvan, Min and Yorkhill principal among them - and as he said after the ten-year-old’s Clarence House win: “Let’s see what happens with all the other horses first.”

Of the bigger-priced contenders last year’s runner-up Sub Lieutenant, trained by Henry De Bromhead can be expected to improve on this season’s form back on better ground, while Nicky Henderson’s spring-heeled improver Gold Present could be interesting if deviating from the handicap route and dropping back in trip.

Gary's Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):

RYANAIR CHASE (Thursday 15th March)

1pt win WAITING PATIENTLY (6/1 Betfair Sportsbook, bet365, Paddy Power, Unibet - all Non-Runner No Bet)

Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2017 Good 8 Un De Sceaux 9 11 10 - 22-1611 47 days W P Mullins R Walsh 7/4 5:09.60
2016 Good 15 Vautour 7 11 10 - 1211-12 82 days W P Mullins R Walsh Evens 5:05.30
2015 Good 14 Uxizandre 7 11 10 - 21-418U 33 days A King (44 miles) A P McCoy 16/1 5:01.20
2014 Good 11 Dynaste 8 11 10 - 1121-25 77 days D Pipe (100 miles) T Scudamore 3/1 5:09.40
2013 Good to Soft 8 Cue Card 7 11 10 - 212-151 26 days C Tizzard (83 miles) J Tizzard 7/2 5:19.10
2012 Good 12 Riverside Theatre 8 11 10 - 5F121-1 26 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 7/2 5:09.60
2011 Good 11 Albertas Run 10 11 10 - 211-4FP 61 days Jonjo O'Neill (1 miles) A P McCoy 6/1 5:07.20
2010 Good to Soft 13 Albertas Run 9 11 10 - 3-P1362 26 days Jonjo O'Neill (1 miles) A P McCoy 14/1 5:11.50
2009 Good to Soft 10 Imperial Commander 8 11 10 - 3114-16 76 days N Twiston-Davies (1 miles) P Brennan 6/1 5:18.34
2008 Good to Soft 9 Our Vic 10 11 10 - 1223-22 47 days D Pipe (100 miles) T J Murphy 4/1 5:10.20