Another of the gang of new races that were brought into the fold when Cheltenham became a four day rather than a three day meeting, this race has got better and better and it now ranks as a Grade One race and fully deserves that status.
What strikes you straight away about the race is the fact that all of the winners have won at Cheltenham before and previous winners or runner-ups have proved successful on return visits to the race. It’s also advisable to pay strong attention to the form of the two big pre-Xmas handicaps at the course the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the December Gold Cup which have produced plenty of horses that have run very well here in the Ryanair. People who bet on racing should remember this.
Surprisingly the Irish have a 0-19 record so far but with a very strong representation this year they look as though they may well be able to break that duck, as things stand they have 10 of the 29 entries and with Rubi Light and Noble Prince well to the fore in the market, we would not be surprised to see that zero turned into a one this year. Those placing Cheltenham 2012 bets should bear this in mind.
Trends-wise it is still early days but so far the Ryanair has been a cracking race for punters with only one winner going off at bigger than 6/1 or outside the front three in the betting. As we said the race was elevated to Grade One status after the first three year of its existence and since then despite being run over 2M 5F it really does look as though you could do with a horse that has the ability to stay three miles and form at that distance should be given plenty of credence.
On the subject of what rating would make you competitive in this race we would almost certainly be looking at a minimum rating of 156+ and since the race became a Grade One contest all of the 12 win-and-place horses have reached that ratings criteria and we would be putting a question mark against any horses that had not reached that mark prior to running in the Ryanair.