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Ryanair Novice Chase History

The Ryanair Novice Chase is a Grade One race run at the Punchestown Festival over two miles for horses aged five years or older.

Often attracting the leading 2m novice chasers from the UK & Ireland this race has grown significantly in stature over the last 20 years and now is one of the most eagerly-anticipated races of the entire Festival.

Taking place after the Cheltenham Festival, it often sees horses that have run in the Arkle Challenge Trophy a month previous line up for more Grade One glory and the last horse to achieve the coveted double was Philip Hobbs' Captain Chris, who was a spectacular winner of both in 2011.

However, the roll of honour had some stellar names etched into it before that, and the standout name in the early history of the race was Viking Flasghip, who won the 1993 race in great style.  Amazingly, the David Nicholson-trained speedster also managed to bag glory in the Champion Chase at the same Festival to grab an astonishing double.  Away from that he became one of the top chasers of the 1990s, amassing a plethora of top class victories.

Another two-mile star propelled on to the scene in 2002 when Jessica Harrington's Moscow Flyer stormed to victory and he too became a top clas chaser, as he bagged two victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase alongside a multitude of top class successes.

War Of Attrition won the 2005 running, but he made his name over the longer distances and in 2006 managed to win the coveted Cheltenham Gold Cup crown to just emphasise that this race can unearth stars of the future, whilst Champion Chase winner Big Zeb was victorious in 2008 to add more depth to the roll of honour.

Recent Winners of Ryanair Novice Chase

  • 2000 - Tiutchev
  • 2001 - Alcapone
  • 2002 - Moscow Flyer
  • 2003 - Le Roi Miguel
  • 2004 - Say Again
  • 2005 - War Of Attrition
  • 2006 - Accordion Etoile
  • 2007 - Another Promise
  • 2008 - Big Zeb
  • 2009 - Barker
  • 2010 - Captain Cee Bee
  • 2011 - Captain Chris
  • 2012 - Lucky William
  • 2013 - Arvika Ligeonniere