|Imperial Aura set for trial on Saturday as 50 entered for Ryanair Chase|
There are 50 entries, the highest number since 2008, for the Ryanair Chase, which takes place over the intermediate distance of an extended two and a half miles. We have been discussing this race on our 2021 Ryanair Chase Thread.
In 2020 it was Min (Willie Mullins) who came out in front and he is one of 23 Irish-trained entries in 2021. The 10-year-old recorded the seventh G1 success of his career when making a winning seasonal return in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December, when he accounted for stablemates Tornado Flyer and Melon, and heads the market with most bookmakers. If successful again in 2021, Min would become just the second dual winner of the Ryanair Chase after Albertas Run, successful in 2010 and 2011.
Also engaged again this year are last year’s neck runner-up Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington), fourth to Frodon on his return to action in the G1 Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, and the third home from 2020 A Plus Tard (Henry de Bromhead), who landed the G1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over the Festive period.
Vying with Min for favouritism at this stage is Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey). The eight-year-old is already a winner at The Festival™, having landed the Listed Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase over two and a half miles in 2020. He has picked up where he left off so far this season, beginning his campaign with victory in the Listed Colin Parker Intermediate Chase at Carlisle on 1 November and following up with a five-length victory in the G2 Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot 20 days’ later.
Bailey commented: “Imperial Aura is in good form and he runs on Saturday in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.
“That race is essentially his prep run for the Cheltenham Festival where he will hopefully line up in the Ryanair Chase.
“He won at the Festival last year and I have been delighted with his performances so far this year.
“I am very happy with him and Saturday should hopefully tell us more, but Cheltenham is definitely a target for him.”
The Ryanair Chase has also been left open for leading Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase contenders Altior (Nicky Henderson) and Chacun Pour Soi (Willie Mullins) while recent Ladbrokes King George VI Chase runner-up Waiting Patiently (Ruth Jefferson) has the option of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase as well as the Ryanair Chase.
RYANAIR CHASE (Grade 1)
Acapella Bourgeois (FR) 11 Slaneyville Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE
Al Dancer (FR) 8 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Nigel Twiston-Davies
Allaho (FR) 7 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins IRE
Altior (IRE) 11 Mrs Patricia Pugh Nicky Henderson
Annamix (FR) 8 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE
A Plus Tard (FR) 7 Cheveley Park Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
Aso (FR) 11 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams
Balko des Flos (FR) 10 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead IRE
Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
Benatar (IRE) 9 Mr Ashley Head Gary Moore
Caribean Boy (FR) 7 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
Castlebawn West (IRE) 8 Mrs Boyd,Mrs Armstrong,Exors JB Anderson W. P. Mullins IRE
Cepage (FR) 9 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams
Chacun Pour Soi (FR) 9 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE
Chatham Street Lad (IRE) 9 Mr V. Healy Michael Winters IRE
Chris’s Dream (IRE) 9 Robcour Henry de Bromhead IRE
Cilaos Emery (FR) 9 Luke McMahon W. P. Mullins IRE
Cyrname (FR) 9 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls
Daly Tiger (FR) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade IRE
Dashel Drasher (GB) 8 Mrs B Tully and Mr R Lock Jeremy Scott
Defi du Seuil (FR) 8 Mr John P. McManus Philip Hobbs
Delta Work (FR) 8 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
Easy Game (FR) 7 Mr Nick Peacock W. P. Mullins IRE
Esprit du Large (FR) 7 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams
Fakir d’Oudairies (FR) 6 Mr John P. McManus Joseph Patrick O’Brien IRE
Fanion d’Estruval (FR) 6 Mr David Wilson Venetia Williams
Greaneteen (FR) 7 Chris Giles Paul Nicholls
Ibleo (FR) 8 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams
Imperial Aura (IRE) 8 Imperial Racing Partnership 2016 Kim Bailey
Itchy Feet (FR) 7 Kate & Andrew Brooks Olly Murphy
Janika (FR) 8 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
Kalashnikov (IRE) 8 Mr Paul Murphy Amy Murphy
Kemboy (FR) 9 Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE
Master Tommytucker (GB) 10 Mr A. G. Fear Paul Nicholls
Melon (GB) 9 Mrs J. Donnelly W. P. Mullins IRE
Midnight Shadow (GB) 8 Mrs Aafke Clarke Sue Smith
Min (FR) 10 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins IRE
Mister Fisher (IRE) 7 James and Jean Potter Nicky Henderson
Presenting Percy (GB) 10 Philip J. Reynolds Gordon Elliott IRE
Real Steel (FR) 8 Mrs Kathy Stuart&Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd Paul Nicholls
Riders Onthe Storm (IRE) 8 Carl Hinchy and Mark Scott Nigel Twiston-Davies
Saint Calvados (FR) 8 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington
Samcro (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
Shattered Love (IRE) 10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
Simply The Betts (IRE) 8 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington
Sizing Pottsie (FR) 7 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mrs J. Harrington IRE
Terrefort (FR) 8 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
Top Notch (FR) 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
Tornado Flyer (IRE) 8 T. F. P. W. P. Mullins IRE
Waiting Patiently (IRE) 10 Mr Richard Collins Ruth Jefferson
50 entries 23 Irish-trained