Queen Mother Champion Chase Tips, Odds & Analysis
Queen Mother Champion Chase Tips
This years Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is potentially the clash of the meeting. For what seems like an age Altior has dominated a stagnant two-mile division and constantly beaten up very solid horses with his touch of brilliance and class at the finish under the guidance of trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville.
It’s not been without scares along the way and in fact for the first time in his career he was beaten over obstacles this season, but like a true great he returned since to win prior to the Festival and set up a monumental battle with two seriously talented rising stars in Defi Du Seuil for JP McManus and Philip Hobbs and Chacun Pour Soi in the famous pink and green colours of Rich and Susannah Ricci and the Irish master Willie Mullins.
There are other runners in the race and some may even fancy their chances, but bar three falls they surely can’t be another likely winner when we get to post time on Wednesday afternoon at Prestbury Park.
When & Where To Watch the Champion Chase
15.30 Wednesday, March 11 - LIVE ON: ITV Racing & Racing TV
Is Altior Still King In The Champion Chase?
There is barely a negative when assessing Altior and how could there be given his remarkable record, at Cheltenham and everywhere else since he first jumped an obstacle for trainer Nicky Henderson. He has consistently done more than enough to win everything and earn over 1.2m in prize money for passionate owner Mrs Patricia Pugh.
The famous black and green colours have been turned into scarfs, mugs and keepsakes for those that love him and his ability to go through the gears and find one other horses don’t have is what has set him apart since his first Festival win when taking the Supreme Novices in 2016.
Altior was forced to pull out all the stops in last year's Champion Chase when Nicky Henderson's superstar recorded his FOURTH #CheltenhamFestival victory! 💪@CheltenhamRaces @sevenbarrows @NdeBoinville #RacingTVFlashback pic.twitter.com/3Zx4C7o3hQ— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 6, 2020
A step up in trip and taking on the brilliant Cyrname at Ascot in November was a step too far, perhaps not fully wound up for a seasonal return, perhaps not truly staying the 2m5f trip that afternoon on soft ground, but whatever the reasons for getting beaten it might just have been a super strong race against a horse better suited and more prepared for the challenge.
In fact it seems to have left a mark on the winner that day and it certainly took time for Henderson to bring Altior back to something like his best when stepping back to the 2m trip at Newbury and showing that final furlong speed to account for Sceau Royal in a Grade 2.
That last run will need to be improved upon to win the Champion Chase this year, no doubt about that, but it was business as usual for this special horse, even at 10yo and even not as invincible as he once was, his four visits to the Cheltenham Festival read 1,1,1,1 and making it five in a row is the most likely outcome in the view of the layers who make him favourite, only slightly over the two bustling rivals of Defi and Chacun!
The #Racehour Cheltenham Festival Preview Night.
Defi Du Seuil Wants The Champion Chase Crown
Philip Hobbs has expertly nursed back a yard of horses including the wonderful Defi Du Seuil from a torrid season of form and health in 2018 to arrive at this years Festival with a lovely set of chances across many races. The one he will surely most want to win with is Defi and the McManus silks of green and gold have already carried the 7yo home in two Festival wins, the Triumph Hurdle in 2017 and then after the year in the doldrums, the JLT Novices chase last season.
Potentially Defi Du Seuil will be even better at a further distance than the Champion Chase test of the minimum two miles, but those plans have been banished such has been the style and manners of victories over solid yardstick Politilogue and twice over the veteran star Un De Sceaux who sadly wont make it to this years Festival. Is he the best of the three contenders though is tough to argue on the bare form of those wins, the Punchestown run at the back end of last season behind Chacun Pour Soi is also recent in the memory and whilst he has Cheltenham form on side like Altior, whereas Chacun Pour Soi does not, he still may come up short in the toughest race of his life.
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Chacun Pour Soi Can Reign As It’s Every Man For Himself
Whatever beats Altior will probably win this race and if nothing does then Altior will once again win, no marks for obvious statements of course but Chacun Pour Soi is the one from three that could do something we haven’t seen yet on his first visit to the holy ground of Prestbury Park.
We know how good Altior is, he isn’t going to get better although he might enjoy better company in a race where he just turns up from the last usually to win. Defi Du Seuil has done enough to win an average run of this race and may be capable of more, but with a victory over him already in the form book, the connections of Chacun Pour Soi will be quietly confident of backing that up.
It hasn’t all gone to plan this season though since Punchestown in May 2019. Clearly they would have liked to have raced more but whilst a defeat when not fully tuned up behind A Plus Tard would have raised alarm it was properly put to bed with a breathtaking win over Min at Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival.
🏇 Chacun is firmly on the Champion Chase trail!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 1, 2020
🥊 Chacun Pour Soi lands the knockout blow over the gallant Min to capture the G1 Ladbrokes Dublin Chase!
👀 Altior vs Defi Du Seuil vs Chacun Pour Soi - Champion Chase, Wednesday, March 11@LeopardstownRC @WillieMullinsNH #DRF pic.twitter.com/Plp3lyTTNj
There was a wow factor about the mid race move that day, the finish was a little more workmanlike but the thought of him doing similar in the guts of a Champion Chase when the pace winds up to a crescendo will be a sight to behold and whilst the wiley Altior might not flinch immediately neither Nico de Boinville or Barry Geraghty on Defi will want to sleep too long in keeping tabs. It could be that part of the race that decides the fate of this years Champion Chase and as the biggest priced contender with the leading bookmakers of the three stars in the field there is a value angle still in the market.
Chacun Pour Soi can win this year, but with three very likeable, lovable types to enjoy and support, it’s every man for himself in the Champion Chase.
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