10th - 13th March

14:50 Cheltenham 12 Mar 2020

Ryanair Chase

Grade 1 | Registered As The Festival Trophy | Class 1 | 5YO plus

Winner £196,945 - 8 ran

2m 4f 127y

Soft (Good to Soft in places)

Draw Advantage: None

Gary Nutting
by Gary Nutting

Published 31st January

KALASHNIKOV rates a value pick for the Ryanair Chase as a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up who retains the potential to scale even greater heights over fences.

Amy Murphy’s gelding went down fighting when beaten a neck by Summerville Boy at the 2018 Festival and didn’t get the chance to show what he could do in last year’s Arkle Chase after being badly hampered and unseating at the sixth.

Left-handed tracks remain the key to the seven-year-old, who hails from the family of 2005 Gold Cup winner Kicking King.

His record on anti-clockwise circuits reads seven wins and three seconds from 12 starts, the only other blip apart from the Arkle being his last-time-out eighth at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

His record on anti-clockwise circuits reads seven wins and three seconds from 12 starts.

Sent off a well-backed favourite under top weight, that disappointing effort is easily explained though - he uncharacteristically bled and was later found to be coughing, a sure sign that he was harbouring a virus of some sorts.

He’s better judged on his Grade 1 novice win at Aintree last spring and close second (beaten a nose) at Newbury in November to well-treated Oldgrangewood, to whom he was conceding 20lb.

The winner had been dropped 12lb from his previous career-high mark and went on to boost the form further when following up off 7lb higher in that January 1st race - a victory that elevated him back to the rating he had reached two seasons ago.

Kalashnikov’s good record fresh allows Murphy plenty of time to get him back in A1 shape for a contest that’s been his target since the summer, and he’s got the class and overall consistency to run a big race.

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

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2019FrodonP F NichollsBryony Frost7 11-109/2
2018Balko Des FlosH de BromheadD N Russell7 11-108/1
2017Un De SceauxW P MullinsR Walsh9 11-107/4f
2016VautourW P MullinsR Walsh7 11-101/1f
2015UxizandreA KingA P McCoy7 11-1016/1
2014DynasteD PipeT Scudamore8 11-103/1f
2013Cue CardC L TizzardJ Tizzard7 11-107/2
2012Riverside TheatreN J HendersonB J Geraghty8 11-107/2f
2011Albertas RunJonjo O'NeillA P McCoy10 11-106/1
2010 Albertas Run Jonjo O'Neill A P McCoy 9 11-10 14/1
2009 Imperial Commander N A Twiston-Davies P J Brennan 8 11-10 6/1
2008 Our Vic D Pipe T Murphy 10 11-10 4/1
2007 Taranis P Nicholls R Walsh 6 11-0 9/2
2006 Fondmort N J Henderson M Fitzgerald 10 11-0 100/30j
2005 Thisthatandtother P F Nicholls R Walsh 9 11-3 9-2

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