Ryanair Chase - Thursday March 17th 2011 

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Albertas Run Flies Home in Ryanair

1 Albertas Run 6/1
2 Kalahari King 7/1
3 Rubi Light 16/1
NR: Captain Cee Bee (IRE), Rare Bob (IRE), Somersby (IRE)
11 ran Distances: 1l, 2l, 4½l
TIME 5m 7.30s (slow by 0.30s)

Albertas Run entered the highest echelon of Cheltenham champions with his third victory at the Festival, including two in the Ryanair Chase and the 2008 RSA Chase.

Albertas Run

Albertas Run

Winning jockey A P (Tony)McCoy said: “You need a horse that wants to win. Sometimes I do some stupid things and ask him some silly questions but he’s silly enough to keep answering. It’s a pleasure to be able to ride a horse like him - it’s what makes you want to come back here.

“He probably lacks a little bit of intelligence like I do so he keeps coming back for more. He has a good will to win and has a great attitude.

“I must say what an amazing job Jonjo [O’Neill] has done with him. Every year he keeps producing him for the big festivals. For the number of horses who are actually capable of running here he always seems to find one good enough.”

The champion jockey continued: “He was in the Gold Cup but he likes a bit of room and being handy and that’s probably why in this race you can be a little bit more positive on him, you can ride him aggressively but you can keep him out of trouble.

“You can ride him the way he likes to be ridden but that’s not to say he wouldn’t run well in the Gold Cup. The big ones at Cheltenham are pretty sweet, even if they’re not Gold Cups.”

Trainer Jonjo O’Neill added: “He just loves this place and was running a very good race behind Master Minded. After he fell we checked him over head to toe and found nothing and he’d been schooling at home.

“That was very special and he is a great horse. He loves this ground, loves the track and he is always a better horse at this time of year.

“He was very unfortunate when he fell at Ascot because he was going to run a blinder behind Master Minded and he had a few problems on and off in between then and now. It’s a great credit to the yard as well. I sort of took over the riding from the second last!

“He seemed OK after Ascot but it is only when you run them the next time that you find out what the problems are. Everything just came right today and you need that when you come to Cheltenham.

“A winner at Cheltenham is fantastic and we felt that he was probably our best chance if we could get him right. We have got the luck today with the gods looking down on us and the sunshine.

“It was great for Trevor (Hemmings -owner) - he is a great man - and I said to him that if he wins easily enough today that we will run him again in the Gold Cup. I think that we will give him a rest!

Hemmings added: “What a horse. Fantastic! I’ve had everyone coming up to congratulate me and they all want me to buy them a drink. That’s one up for the English!

“He’s such a lovely horse and to recover and come back from his fall [at Ascot in November], which he didn’t deserve, it’s just unbelievable.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Albertas Run
Jonjo O'Neill
A P McCoy
11st 10lbs
6 - 1
Kalahari King
Ferdy Murphy
G Lee
11st 10lbs
7 - 1
1 length
Rubi Light
R Hennessy
A E Lynch
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
2 lengths
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 10lbs
2 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
Voy Por Ustedes
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 10lbs
11 - 1
J'y Vole
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 3lbs
8 - 1
4 lengths
T R George
P J Brennan
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
10 lengths
Nick Williams
D Jacob
11st 10lbs
11 - 1
6 lengths
Hey Big Spender
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 10lbs
18 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
Roberto Goldback
Mrs J Harrington
R M Power
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Pulled Up
P F Nicholls
Nick Scholfield
11st 10lbs
40 - 1
Non Runner
Captain Cee Bee
E P Harty
Andrew J McNamara
11st 10lbs
Non Runner
Rare Bob
D T Hughes
P W Flood
11st 10lbs
Non Runner
Miss H C Knight
R Thornton
11st 10lbs



Kalahahri King appears destined to ever be the bridesmaid after failing to overhaul Albertas Run by a length in a thrilling climax to the Grade One Ryanair Chase over two miles, five furlongs.

The Ferdy Murphy-trained 10-year-old came home strongly after being held up towards the rear by Graham Lee but was unable to overhaul the victor and was forced to repeat his second place in the 2009 Grade One The Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.

Murphy commented: “He’s been a pebble of a horse for us. He’s a Grade One horse and won a Grade One around Aintree but it looks like he’s destined never to win one at this place.

“I’m very happy with the horse but gutted to be second again. He was second in the Arkle and third in last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase. He’s 10 now but we’ll plan to come back for this race next year.

“He jumped beautifully. He just got in a bit tight at the fourth-last and I thought at first that if he had pinged the last he might have got there but looking at Alberta’s Run, I think if our lad had joined him the winner would have pulled out a bit more.

“We’ll look at the two and a half miler at Aintree next month. He keeps picking up prize money in Grade One races and that’s so important with prize money the way it is. It’s great for the Morgans who are fantastic owners.

“Graham Lee is a very good man to have on your side on the big day and he was incredible on him again today.”


Robbie Hennessy continues in his bid to train a first Festival winner, but he enjoyed a great run in the Ryanair Chase thanks to third-placed Rubi Light.

Still only six, Rubi Light has a bright future. As Hennessy said: “He’s a big horse, standing 17.1 hands, nearly 17.2 and he’s got a bit of filling out to do. He could become the real deal - he should really be running against novices’ this season, but he won a chase in France, so has to take on the big boys. He’s holding his own against them.

“Andrew [Lynch] said if the ground had been softer he would have won. He made a mistake at the second-last and got a bit cut up turning in [to the home straight] otherwise he might have been a bit closer, but we’re delighted. He could be something special next year.

“He’s won over two miles for us, but this was the longest trip he’s tried for us, and Andrew said it was no bother. He could go to Punchestown but it would be ground dependent. Any quicker than this he wouldn’t run.”

Hennessy trains the 2007 Stan James Champion Hurdle winner Sublimity, who like Rubi Light carries the colours of his father, Bill Hennessy. Sublimity, now 11, was trained by John Carr when successful in racing’s major hurdle race, and retirement now beckons, but Robbie said: “He might have one or two more runs - we’re thinking about bringing him over for the Scottish Champion Hurdle.”

Andy Stewart, owner of fourth-placed Poquelin, said: “That was a bit disappointing because beforehand I though he had a better chance than Big Buck’s today. We’ll talk next week about what we do now with him and we could step him up to three miles.”


RYANAIR CHASE - Past Results

2010-WINNER-ALBERTAS RUN 9-11-10 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-14/1
2ND-Poquelin 7-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/4 Fav
3RD-J’y Vole 7-11-03 Owner-Hammer & Trowell Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Davy Condon; SP-28/1
13 ran, Time-5m 11.63s Dist-4.5, nse

2009-WINNER-IMPERIAL COMMANDER 8-11-10 Owner-Our Friends In The North; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-6/1
2ND-Voy Por Ustedes 8-11-10 Owner-Sir Robert Ogden; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-4/5 Fav
3RD-Schindlers Hunt 9-11-10 Owner-Slaneyville Syndicate; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Paddy Flood; SP-22/1
10 ran, Time-5m 18.34s Dist-2, 0.75

2008-WINNER-OUR VIC 10-11-10 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-4/1
2ND-Mossbank 8-11-10 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Michael Hourigan IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-4/1
3RD-Turko 6-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/1
9 ran, Time-5m 10.24s Dist-5, 7 100/30 Fav The Listener (5th)

2007-WINNER-TARANIS 6-11-00 Owner-Mrs A B Yeoman & C R Whittaker; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-9/2
2ND–Our Vic 9-11-05 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-7/2
3RD–Billyvoddan 8-11-00 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
9 ran, Time-5m 10.60s Dist-nk, ½ 7/4 Fav Monet’s Garden (4th)

2006-WINNER-FONDMORT 10-11-00 Owner-Bill Brown; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerlad; SP-100/30 Jt Fav
2ND-Lacdoudal 7-11-00 Owner-Carol Skan; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
3RD-Impek Owner-Jim Lewis; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-100/30 Jt Fav
11 ran, Time-5m 3.00s Dist-1¼, hd

2005-WINNER-THISTHATANDTOTHER 9-11-03 Owner-Graham Roach; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh;
2ND-Fondmort 9-11-00 Owner-Bill Brown; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-9/1
3RD-Rathgar Beau 9-11-03 Owner-One-O-Eight Racing Club; Trainer-Eamon Sheehy IRE; Jockey-Shay Barry; SP-9/2
12 ran, Time-5m 11.90s Dist: ½, 2½ 7/4 Fav Our Vic (PU)

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