The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

A class 1 steeplechase over 2 miles.




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.

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Strong stable of Willie Mullins is multiple handed here in this race again.
Probably his best horse in the race as the very smart Un De Sceaux . This top-class Bay gelding is a winner of 14 of his 16 starts and has won in good style on every occasion he has finished. He was exceptionally good winner of last season’s Arkle at the Festival where he won as he liked six lengths ahead of his field. He has fallen twice in his career but despite this, by and large he is a very good jumper and travels exceptionally well in his race. A worthy favorite who should start at odds-on and could well be the pick of the whole of the meeting.

With so many good horses contesting this race it's interesting to see that Nicky Henderson's fabulous chaser Sprinter Sacre takes his chance here again today. He was simply one of the best chases around back in 2013. He is a multiple Cheltenham runner and his form holds up with the best. In 2011 he was third in the supreme novice hurdle, but nobody could really have expected how his form would sparkle after that race which incidentally was the worst position he's ever finished a race in. The following year he ran in the Arkle Chase and that was his fourth win of the season where he beat what we now know was a very smart horse and Gold Cup contender Cue Card by seven lengths. A month later he went to the Aintree Festival and trounced his field by 13 lengths. A return to the Cheltenham in this race in 2013 saw possibly one of the best performances there has ever been in this race. He travelled smoothly throughout the race and never actually came off the bridle to win by 19 lengths, a most impressive performance. He seemed to have everything in front of him and suddenly in December 2013 sadly it all went wrong he was pulled up very quickly and was found to have a irregular heartbeat and this has troubled him for some time since. Clearly with such a good horse who has the third highest ever Timeform steeplechaser, racing connections could clearly take no chances with him but he has gradually come back. Two runs this season have led to 2 wins the first at Cheltenham where he took a grade 2 race by 14 lengths and his most recent at the Kempton Christmas meeting where he was more workmanlike winning the grade 2 Desert Orchid chase."They don't come back“ is often a phrase used in horse racing after a horse is had setbacks, and that generally is true however this horse was so good at his height that he would not have to come back to its absolute best to win this race. And I would say he has a real chance of making the frame should he be brave enough to let himself really gallop in this race. There would not be many more popular winners.

Last year's winner Dodging Bullets returns for another crack at the big one. I think many people thought last year's race was a below par event and because of this Dodging Bullets has probably not got the recognition he deserves for winning that day. It was the culmination of a good season for him. In contrast he has only had one run this season and that was a month ago at Newbury where he looked like he needed the race. That will put him spot on for today and past winners of any championship race should never really be ruled out.

The 2014 winner Sire De Grugy comes back for another crack at the race today. Up to his win in 2014 he was always steadily improving and that perhaps was his finest performance beating the field by six lengths. He also went on to win the Sandown chase in April when a strong favorite. Last season he never really seemed to be the same horse and did not run as well as he would be expected to do however this season he has come back and has steadily improved and took the Tingle Creek Chase back in December. He is a good horse that has done it before. He does not owe any of his connections anything but it would be great to see him run well today and I certainly would not leave this fine chaser out of any reckoning in this the fastest chase the Festival. He is a brave horse and has a rider who gets on with him really well and that is what is needed in this race.

Special Tiara is a really good nine-year-old Bay gelding and is a past winner of the Desert Orchid chase. This will be his third attempt at this race, he was six behind Sire De Grugy in 2014 and finished third only three lengths behind the winner last season. The horse should not be classed as an also-ran as he is one of the more lively outsiders taking the run today.

Making his fourth appearance at the Cheltenham Festival is Felix Yonger. He is a consistent horse and does really well at around 2 miles or just a little beyond. He is trying this race today for the first time and of course is coming up against some really good horses. He has won seven of his last eight races and so comes here in fine form. He acts virtually on any ground and is a very versatile top-class horse. It may just be that he is coming up against some real champions this year but he is sure to make a good account of himself.

God's Own is an eight-year-old from Tom George's stable. He has run some really good races and in last season’s Arkle he was a good second behind today's favourite. May just be not good enough in this sparkling field and hasn't won a race for over a year. It would seem that there are more favourable horses in the race.

Another Irish runner comes sure to try his luck, Sizing Granite is a young lightly raced eight-year-old gelding. He runs most of his races in Ireland and does well there. His only outing from his native land was at last seasons Aintree Festival where he was a good winner of the Grade 1 Maghull Novice chase. He has not been on the top of his form however this season and I'm sure connections expect a better run.

Last year's runner-up Somersby comes back today and is a massive price in the betting market. That is because he is not actually won a race since November 2013. He is a however a good consistent type and is a horse that likes Cheltenham. It's not inconceivable he would run into a place at a big price however he is now 12 years old and there are a lot of smart horses in this race.

So there you have it returning champions and top-class, top drawer young pretenders. With plenty of Cheltenham past winners in the race this fast paced race could turn out once again to be one of the most exciting races of the Festival. As in much of the races this season the powerful Willie Mullins stable has another shining star at the head of the market and given his past form, should he run up to it we could be hailing another real superstar for the next few years. But this is Cheltenham, this is the Festival, and nothing can be taken for granted.

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 9th. 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 9th would merit a minimum rating of 130. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final Weights 11st 10lb Allowances mares 7lb



1 3111-2 Dodging Bullets 8 11-10 Paul Nicholls Sam Twison-Davies 171
10 wins and 9 places from 28 starts (68%) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

2 1-1311 Felix Yonger 10 11-10 W P Mullins Pau Townend 161
12 wins and 7 places from 23 starts (83%) on ground ranging from soft through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

3 22F-32 God´s Own 8 11-10 Tom George Paddy Brennan 159
5 wins and 10 places from 20 starts (75%) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 3 furlongs.

4 11-262 Just Cameron 9 11-10 Micky Hammond Joe Colliver 148
7 wins and 4 places from 21 starts (52%) on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and half a furlong.

5 F-5122 Sire De Grugy 10 11-10 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 169
16 wins and 8 places from 33 starts (7 3%) on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

6 111-25 Sizing Granite 8 11-10 C A Murphy J.J.Burke 155
5 wins and 3 places from 11 starts (73%) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong

7 25-244 Somersby 12 11-10 Mick Channon Brian Hughes 159
7 wins in 19 places from 39 runs (67%) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs

8 131-42 Special Tiara 9 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Noel Fehily 168
5 wins in 10 places from 22 starts (68%) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong

9 2P2-11 Sprinter Sacre 10 11-10 Nicky Henderson Nico De Boinville 170
16 wins and 4 places from 22 starts (91%) on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

10 11-1F1 Un De Sceaux 8 11-10 W P Mullins Ruby Walsh 172
14 wins and no places from 16 runs (87%) on ground ranging from yielding through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles 3 1/2 furlongs.


1 Sprinter Sacre (FR) 5/1 10 11-10 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2 Un De Sceaux (FR) 4/6F 8 11-10 W P Mullins R Walsh
3 nse Special Tiara 16/1 9 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Noel Fehily
4 5 God's Own (IRE) 20/1 8 11-10 Tom George Paddy Brennan
5 5 Somersby (IRE) 50/1 12 11-10 p Mick Channon Brian Hughes
6 9 Just Cameron 66/1 9 11-10 t Micky Hammond Joe Colliver
7 4 Dodging Bullets 10/1 8 11-10 t Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
8 40 Sire De Grugy (FR) 16/1 10 11-10 Gary Moore Jamie Moore
PU Sizing Granite (IRE) 33/1 8 11-10 C A Murphy J J Burke
PU Felix Yonger (IRE) 11/1 10 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend


To be updated.

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