The Ryanair Novice Chase is a Grade 1 Chase run on the third day of the Punchestown Festival over two miles. It was first run in 1992 and it has been won by some of the best two-mile chasers from both Ireland and England. The role of honour includes Viking Flagship, Moscow Flyer, War Of Attrition, Big Zeb, Un De Sceaux, Douvan, and Footpad.
Check out our trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tips for the 2019 Ryanair Novices Chase.
Ryanair Novice Chase 10-Year-Trends
The last 10 winners of the Ryanair Novice Chase have been aged between six and nine, with the last four winners all being aged six. All 10 winners had run between 18 and 68 days prior to their success.
Eight winners were Irish-trained and two English-trained, with Willie Mullins training six winners including the last four. Ruby Walsh has also ridden three of the last six winners.
Six of the last 10 winners had won last time out including the last four winners, and nine winners were returned at odds of no bigger than 11/2. However, the other winner was a shock 25/1 outsider.
Ryanair Novice Chase 2019 Runner-By-Runner Guide
Chacun Pour Soi
Had four runs in France up to March 2016 and won after a break of over 1,000 days on his debut for Willie Mullins. He absolutely hacked up that day and could be anything but, though the third won next time out, the horse that horse beat was well-beaten next time. The real quandary is Ruby Walsh has chosen to ride him, but that may be misleading as he has never ridden the likely favourite Duc Du Genievres in any of his previous runs.
Defi De Seuil
The 2017 Triumph Hurdle winner doubled his Cheltenham Festival tally with a win in this JLT Chase. That was over 2½ miles but, though he was not at his best over two miles on his chase debut, he probably needed that run after a long spell on the side-lines.
Indeed, his connections were seriously considering running him over two miles at Cheltenham in the Arkle Chase and the drop back in trip should not be an inconvenience for a horse that did all of his winning over hurdles over today’s trip. Trainer Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson are also no strangers to success in this race having teamed up to win the 2011 edition with Captain Chris.
Duc Du Genievres
The top-rated runner after winning this year’s Arkle Chase, and he has impressed in winning his last two chases by 13 and 15 lengths. However, he may have been flattered at Cheltenham, where he seemed to handle the soft ground better than his opponents, whilst his two main market rivals fell, including subsequent Aintree winner Kalashnikov.
Duca Du Thaix
Won two of his eight chases this year but has quite a bit to find with the principles. He’s also run below his best on his last three starts and his two previous appearances at Punchestown, so it will be disappointing if he’s good enough to win this.
Has shown some solid form all season up to falling in the Arke Chase at Cheltenham when a 14/1 chance. Bounced back to beat the Arke runner-up Us And Them at Aintree, but by nowhere near as far as Duc De Genievres had done at Cheltenham.
Us And Them
His only victory this season was when beating Duc Du Thaix but he’s been a model of consistency since with five consecutive runner-up finishes. That means he has ground to make up with at least two of today’s rivals, but he did at least win on his only previous visit to Punchestown.
Voix Du Reve
Well-backed winner at Fairyhouse 11 days ago and, if backing him, you’re taking a chance that he’s recovered from a shorter gap between races than any of the last 10 winners. He also finished behind Us And Them at Leopardstown earlier this season and has been deserted by Ruby Walsh who has ridden him on his last two runs.
Ryanair Novices Chase 2019 Verdict
The formbook suggests that Duca Du Thaix, Ornua, Us And Them, and Voix Du Reve have something to find with the two Cheltenham Festival winners Duc Du Genievres and Defi Du Seuil. Meanwhile, money for Chacun Pour Soi could be significant with Ruby Walsh on board.
The gut-feeling is that the form of Defi Du Seuil is the strongest, with defeats of the highly-rated pair of Lostintranslation and Topoftehgame looking especially strong form. However, whilst those two horses may prove best over three miles, Defi Du Seuil is fancied to state his claim for next year’s Champion Chase by winning this impressively.