The Ryanair Chase is a Grade 1 chase which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 5 furlongs, and during its running there are seventeen fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.

It was one of several new races introduced at the Festival when a fourth day was added to the meeting in 2005. Prior to this there had been a similar event at the Festival called the Cathcart Challenge Cup, but this was restricted to first and second-season chasers only.

The registered (non-sponsored) title of the race is the Festival Trophy, and it was initially classed at Grade 2 level. The inaugural running was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, and since then it has been backed by Ryanair. The event has held Grade 1 status since 2008.

There were those who feared that the race might detract from the Queen Mother Chase or the Gold Cup. However the event has proved that there is a place at the Festival for a separate championship race over this distance.

In fact, not only is there currently a crop of top class two and half mile chasers, there are also a number of horses who specialise at that sort of trip around Cheltenham. Races such as the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Boylesports Gold Cup, therefore, are proving to be excellent form guides for this race.

Race Previews:

Previous Winners:

2016Vautour7W Mullins1-1F
2015Uxizandre7A King16-1
2014Dynaste8D Pipe3-1F
2013Cue Card7C Tizzard7-2
2012Riverside Theatre8N J Henderson7-2
2011Albertas Run10J O’Neill6-1
2010Albertas Run9J O’Neill14-1
2009Imperial Commander8N A Twiston-Davies6-1
2008Our Vic10D E Pipe4-1
2007Taranis6P F Nicholls9-2
2006Fondmort10N J Henderson100-30JF
2005Thisthatandtother9P F Nicholls9-2