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The BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase

A class 1 steeplechase over 2 miles.




 

The_Race

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is a grade 1 Steeplechase.

The Champion chase is the most prestigious 2 mile steeplechase in the whole calendar and is run for the fastest steeplechasers over two miles and is the main event of the second day of the Cheltenham festival.

First Run in 1959 this is the race that all top class two mile chasers are aimed at all season.

More . . .





The_2015_Race

What an interesting race we have in store this season for the speed chasers over the minimum distance of 2 miles.

Returning champion Sire De Grugy is now returning to form after a poor run at Newbury where he made some jumping mistakes and unseated his rider three from home. That was his first run on 7th February and the connections felt that they needed to get a good run into this horse before the festival and so they took the horse to Chepstow and ran in a 2 mile 1/2 furlong handicap chase. That day he had to give a 1st 6lbs to every other horse in the race and he ran really well on soft ground and jumped like a buck showing that he is back in form and ready to defend his crown.

The previous season's winner and super horse Sprinter Sacre had been out with injury since he was pulled up in the Desert Orchid Chase in 2013. It is been a long slow battle back and he showed that he still retains his ability when coming second to Dodging Bullets at Ascot in mid-January in the Clarence House Chase. He bled a little after that race but connections thought this was very minor. He is clearly the best horse in the race and if fit should easily see off the rest of this field but there is a doubt to his fitness and his commitment, when the chips are down. The jockey will surely have instructions not to beat this horse about should things not go to plan.

The horse that beat Sprinter Sacre in that Ascot race was Dodging Bullets. Dodging Bullets is a fine seven-year-old bay gelding from the Paul Nicholls yard who has been improving steadily if not spectacularly and he comes here with no doubts about his fitness, stamina or resolution. It is doubtful that he would be good enough to win this if the leading two in the market were 100% fit but they have questions about them and none on him. Sure to put up a good race and an interesting runner.

One of the leading Irish contenders is Champagne Fever. Another top-class horse from the Willie Mullins yard. He was second in last year’s Arkle and is a previous winner of the Supreme Novice Hurdle and the champion bumper the year before. A really good horse who has steadily been improving and his form is laid out for all to see another interesting runner with good course form.

Paul Nicholls trains the very smart Mr Mole for J. P. McManus, one of the leading National Hunt owners.. This horse will be ridden by A.P. McCoy and will be the jockeys last ride in the two-mile Champion Chase. Sure to have plenty of supporters on the day and he is a horse who has shown a lot of improvement this year and looks the type to have more improvement to come. He likes soft ground so any cut in the ground should help his cause.

A very interesting race today and all eyes initially will be on the very smart Sprinter Sacre everyone will of course be hoping that the horse comes home safe but also hoping that he shows the sparkle of two seasons ago when he was absolutely unbeatable in almost any going at around 2 .

Of the championship races this one could potentially be wide-open or could simply be the opposite and the horses could end up being strung out at the finish. One thing is for sure this race is always run at the very very fast pace and is one of the most exciting races to watch in the whole festival.

Race Conditions: For 5yo+ which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 5th. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including March 5th would merit a minimum rating of 130. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final Weights 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb



List_of_runners


NUMBER FORM NAME AGE WEIGHT TRAINER JOCKEY RATING


NON-RUNNER 324211 Balder Succes 7 11-10 Alan King * 162
A nice seven-year-old bay gelding from the Alan King yard.
This horse is a past winner of the Grade 1 Maghull novice chase at the Aintree Festival last year. Has done little wrong in his runnings this year and looked a good horse. He is progressive and coming into form bang on time. Most recently he was the winner of the Ascot chase a Grade 1 chase over 2 miles and 3 1/2 furlongs beating the very smart Ma Filleule from the Nicky Henderson yard. Will have to improve again to win this race and is a very interesting runner today.

*Going preference. *Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles: chase 2 miles 5 1/2 furlongs.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 5/13: chase 7/13.


2 614F1 NON-RUNNER 8 11-10 W P Mullins *
A leading Irish contender Champagne Fever is a top-class eight-year-old grey gelding from the very powerful wily Mullins yard.
This is a horse that can be very good or quite ordinary in his races. He was tried at 3 miles at Christmas time presumably with an eye on the Gold Cup, however he didn't get home. Returned now to 2 miles he was unlucky to fall at the last in a Grade 2 Chase in Ireland before going on to win in mid-February at Gowran Park racecourse.
Although his form has been going a little in and out recently he does love this course and won the Champion bumper in 2012, The Supreme Novice Hurdle in 2013 and was second in last season’s Arkle. Good course form and especially good Festival form should not be taken lightly and he comes here with a real chance.

*Going preference.*Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance.*Hurdle 2 miles and 2 furlongs: Chase 2 miles and 4 furlongs.
*Previous win/run.*Hurdle 3/6: Chase 3/8.


3 12112 NON-RUNNER 5 11-10 Gordon Elliott *
A young Irish five-year-old Bay gelding trained by Gordon Elliott.
A progressive horse who was the winner of a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas. He was very impressive that day being 17 lengths ahead of his field.
Most recent run was second behind the very impressive Un De Sceaux from the Willie Mullins yard. He was a long way behind the horse that day will have to improve considerably to win this race.

*Going preference. *Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles and 2 furlongs.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 2/10: chase 2/4.


1 45-311 Dodging Bullets 7 11-10 Paul Nicholls * 165
A really good progressive horse Dodging Bullets is the main protagonist today that comes here with good, possibly the best recent form.
A seven-year-old bay from the Paul Nicholls yard. This horse was progressing really well in his early career and included a good fourth place in the 2012 Triumph Hurdle. The horses form then despite winning twice at the early-season Cheltenham meetings seemed to fluctuate.He usually runs around the 2 mile mark however he has been tried over 2 1/2 without much success.
This season he has been kept to 2 miles or thereabouts and has shown his good early form is returning. He was a good third in a listed Chase at the Cheltenham November meeting and then went all on in December to win the Tingle Creek Chase in really good style, with the smart Balder Succes back in fourth.
His last run back in January was a Grade 1 Chase at Ascot where he beat the mighty Sprinter Sacre on his return.
Not without a chance on his best form and if the two main protagonists in the race show any chink he will be there to take advantage of it as he is sure to come year fit and well and in the form of his life. Don't think that a win for this horse would be a lucky win because he does have class.

*Going preference.*Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft.
*Maximum winning distance.*Hurdle 2 miles and 1/2 furlong: Chase 2 miles and 1 furlong.
*Previous win/run.*Hurdle 2/8: Chase 5/9.


2 F1-111 Mr Mole 7 11-10 Paul Nicholls * 152
Another young seven-year-old from the Paul Nicholls yard this brown gelding is another who looks to be shooting into form at the right time.
Although he had reasonable form up to the end of last season his last but one race was at this festival in the Grand Annual where disappointingly he fell, however he did not look like he was going to trouble the horses in the frame that day.
He then went to a low grade event at Newton Abbott racecourse and won as he should easily. Presumably that race was to help him regain his confidence.
Whatever the cause it did the trick as he has come out this season unbeaten in three good races. The last of these was in a Grade 2 Chase at Newbury racecourse where perhaps famously Sire De Grugy unseated his rider however this horse was a smart winner.
He will be the last ride that the retiring champion jockey A.P. McCoy will have in this race and therefore will come for plenty of support on the day. Could be a better horse than his basic starting price suggests.

*Going preference.*Wins have come on ground ranging from good to soft through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance.*Hurdle 2 miles in 1 furlong: Chase 2 miles and 1 1/2 furlongs.
*Previous win/run.*Hurdle 2/6: Chase 5/8.


3 91-394 Savello 9 11-10 A J Martin *
A well exposed nine-year old chestnut gelding trained by Tony Martin in Ireland.
The winner of the grand annual as last year’s festival. That race was a considerable step up on what he done before as a chaser. Has not been great since and would be a surprise winner.

*Going preference. *Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles: chase 2 miles and 1 furlong.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 2/9: chase 3/12.


4 32-123 Simply Ned 8 11-10 Nicky Richards * 159
An interesting runner from the Nicky Henderson yard and another who seems to be an improving sort even at eight-years-old.
He was second in the Grade 1 Maghull chase at the Aintree Festival last year and that was a good improvement for this horse. Has to step up again today and looks to have plenty on his plate. Although he is a consistent runner who will give his best and runs well for today's jockey.

*Going preference *wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles 1 furlong: chase 2 miles 1 furlong.
*Previous win/run *hurdle 4/9: chase 3/10.


5 111-U1 Sire De Grugy 9 11-10 Gary Moore * 172
Last season's returning champion is the nine-year old Chester gelding SIRE DE GRUGY.
An extremely popular winner last year he beat the rest of his field by six lengths to take the title. With this seasons competitive entries it's unlikely that he'll be able to do that this year. He is an extremely likeable horse always tries hard in his races. Since turning to chasing he has continued to improve and impress. His jumping and way of travelling through a race means that he is a real speed merchant over 2 miles.
He started the season uncharacteristically unseating his rider in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury, which is now called the Betfair price crash Chase. That was on 7th February. Collections were keen to get another race into the horse before the Cheltenham Festival and so they sent him to Chepstow where he ran in a handicap Chase giving all his field at least a stone and 6 pounds and a long way beating to them all.
He is a worthy champion who has the form and class to make him a dual Champion Chase winner.

*Going preference.*Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance.*Hurdle races 2 miles 1 1/2 furlongs: Chase races to miles 1 1/2 furlongs.
*Previous win/run.*Hurdle 4/10: Chase 11/15.


6 44-116 Sizing Europe 13 11-10 Henry De Bromhead *
A Cheltenham regular this 13-year-old bay gelding would once have had the speed and power to win this race but surely now must be on the downgrade.
He is the 2011 winner of this race and he has contested it every year since coming second in 2012 second in 2013 and fourth last year. Would be extremely popular winner but unlikely to make the frame this year.

*Going preference. *Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles to furlongs: chase 2 miles 4 furlongs.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 4/11: chase 17/30.


7 56224 Somersby 11 11-10 Mick Channon * 162
Somersby a well exposed 11-year-old Bay gelding.
Has been really consistent in past years but has been something out of form this year with the best run perhaps coming when second to Dodging Bullets over 2 miles at Sandown in the Tingle Creek chase. That form looks quite good although with this horse despite many runs at Cheltenham he has never won here despite running well and coming second in last year's Queen Mother. Could he step up this year, well he would be a surprise winner but not without a chance of making the frame at a good price.

*Going preference.* wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles: chase 2 miles for a half furlongs.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 1/5: chase 5/28.


8 3-5341 Special Tiara 8 11-10 Henry De Bromhead *
A nice enough eight-year-old bay gelding trained by Henry De Bromhead.
Was sixth in this race last year and has won a Grade 1 novice at Aintree. Seems to like Park courses better than the undulations that he will face here today. Looks to have plenty on his plate here.

*Going preference. *Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to soft.
*Maximum winning distance. *Hurdle 2 miles and 1 furlong: chase 2 miles and 1 furlong.
*Previous win/run. *Hurdle 4/9: chase 3/10.


9 11/P-2 Sprinter Sacre 9 11-10 Nicky Henderson *
There was a most eagerly awaited return to top-class racing for this horse this season when he ran at Ascot after a 13 month layoff.
That day he could only manage second behind a very smart and progressive Dodging Bullets. He was not given a very hard race that day and should come on really well from that race although he did bleed a little after the race although the connections did not think this was significant in any way.
He was an absolutely fantastic chaser right up until the Christmas meeting of December 2013. He ran in the Desert Orchid Chase and was pulled up quickly halfway through the race and was found to have had a heart murmur. Despite rest and plenty of tests since there has been no sign of this re-occurring. Connections are sure as they can be that this was a one-off event.
Before that this horse was simply unbeatable in any race at around 2 to 2 1/2 miles. He won the Irish Champion Chase, the John Smith's Melling Chase at the Aintree Festival the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Victor Chandler Chase, the Tingle Creek Chase and one could go on and on. He put up a 10 race winning streak and beat most of his rivals in good quality races very easily.
I think there is little doubt in anyone's mind that if Sprinter Sacre was the same horse that he was two seasons ago none of his Challengers today would get close to this fantastic horse. However we are living in this season and past glories at Cheltenham don't always count. He will have a race today and will almost certainly go off favourite and wouldn't it be great to see the old Sprinter Sacre perform at his very best once again.

*Going preference.*Wins have come on ground ranging from good through to heavy.
*Maximum winning distance.*Hurdle to miles and half furlongs: Chase 2 1/2 miles.
*Previous win/run.*Hurdle 2/4: Chase 10/12.







The_Full_Result


POSITION FORM NAME AGE WEIGHT TRAINER JOCKEY
1 45-311 Dodging Bullets 7 11-10 Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
2 56224 Somersby 11 11-10 Mick Channon Brian Hughes
3 3-5341 Special Tiara 8 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Noel Fehily
4 111-U1 Sire De Grugy 9 11-10 Gary Moore Jamie Moore
5 32-123 Simply Ned 8 11-10 Nicky Richards Brian Harding
6 91-394 Savello 9 11-10 A J Martin Bryan Cooper
7 44-116 Sizing Europe 13 11-10 Henry De Bromhead J J Burke
8 F1-111 Mr Mole 7 11-10 Paul Nicholls A.P.McCoy
P/U 11/P-2 Sprinter Sacre 9 11-10 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty












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