Ryanair Chase Becomes Thursday Feature Race As Prize Fund Rises From £350,000 In 2018 To £400,000 In 2022
Ryanair, Europe’s favourite airline, today (25 Jan) announced that it had agreed to extend its sponsorship of “The Ryanair Chase”, at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival for a 5 year period from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. The prize fund will increase from £300,000 in 2017 to £350,000 in 2018, and will rise to £400,000 by 2022.
In the light of this significant boost in prize money, The Ryanair Chase will now become the feature race on St. Patrick’s Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival from March 2018 onwards. Ryanair continues to be the official airline partner of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, and continues to bring more than 20,000 Irish visitors each year to/from Cheltenham during the 4 days of the Festival.
The Ryanair Chase has established itself as the Championship Race for 2½ mile chasers over recent years with a distinguished list of winners including Imperial Commander, Cue Card, Vautour and Un De Sceaux last year for Willie Mullins. Interestingly, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has finished 2nd on 4 occasions in the last 5 years of The Ryanair Chase but has never managed to win the race.
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said:
“We are pleased to extend our sponsorship of the Ryanair Chase for a further 5 years as Cheltenham is the major jumps festival which enables Ryanair to carry tens of thousands of Irish jump racing fans to and from the Cotswolds each March. Ryanair is an enormous supporter of the bloodstock industry in Ireland and the UK as we fly to most of the major racecourses, breeding and sale centres in Aintree, Cheltenham, Newmarket and Doncaster”
Cheltenham’s Ian Renton said:
“We are delighted that Ryanair is renewing sponsorship of the Ryanair Chase for a further five years. “The race had gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2005 and Ryanair’s support is very much appreciated. I just hope that at some point Michael manages to win the Ryanair Chase!”