Staged at the Cheltenham Festival each March the Grade One Queen Mother Champion Chase is run over 2m, with 12 fences to tackle. This is where TRAINERS-QUOTES give you the key Champion Chase trends to help you find the winner based on past statistics – use these trends to whittle down the 2018 Champion Chase runners and find the best past winning profile.
The betting for the 2018 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase sees last season’s Arkle Chase winner, Altior, heading the market as he bids to give trainer Nicky Henderson his fifth win in the race and his fourth since 2012.
Did you know - 11 of the last 15 Champion Chase winners won their last race?
The current champion Special Tiara will be looking to become the first horse since Master Minded (2008/09) to successfully defend his title, while Tingle Creek Chase winners have a good recent record in the race so the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue, who won that Sandown race this season, is another horse that is sure to be popular in the Champion Chase betting market.
Run as the featured race on the second day (Wednesday) of the festival the race was first run back in 1959 and given the ‘Queen Mother’ title in 1980 to celebrate the Queen mum’s 80th birthday.
We look back at recent winners and highlight the key trends to take into the 2018 renewal – this year run on Wednesday 14th March.
Recent Queen Mother Champion Chase Winners
2017 – SPECIAL TIARA (11/1)
2016 – SPRINTER SACRE (5/1)
2015 – DODGING BULLETS (9/2)
2014 – SIRE DE GRUGY (11/4 fav)
2013 – SPRINTER SACRE (1/4 fav)
2012 – FINIAN’S RAINBOW (4/1)
2011 – SIZING EUROPE (10/1)
2010 – BIG ZEB (10/1)
2009 – MASTER MINDED (4/11 fav)
2008 – MASTER MINDED (3/1)
2007 – VOY POR USTEDES (5/1)
2006 – NEWMILL (16/1)
2005 – MOSCOW FLYER (6/4 fav)
2004 – AZERTYUIOP (15/8 fav)
2003 – MOSCOW FLYER (7/4 fav)
2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Trends
14/15 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
13/15 – Had won at least 5 times over fences before
13/15 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
11/15 – Won last time out
11/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
11/15 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
9/15 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
9/15 – Placed favourites
8/15 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
7/15 – French bred
6/15 – Irish bred
6/15 – Won by an Irish-based horse
5/15 – Won the Arkle Chase the previous season
5/15 – Winning favourites
4/15 – Ran in the Tied Cottage Chase (Punchestown) last time out
3/15 – Ran in the Game Spirit Chase (Newbury) last time out
3/15 – Had won the race before
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 5/1
Other Queen Mother Champion Chase Stats
11 of the last 17 winners ran in that season’s Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown)
20 of the last 33 winners had previously won at the Cheltenham Festival
35 of the last 36 winners returned 11/1 or shorter in the betting
15 of the last 16 Arkle Chase winners to run the next season in this have finished placed or better
15 of the last 16 winners had won a Grade One Chase previously
14/20 – British-trained winners
6/20 – Irish-trained winners
Willie Mullins (Ire) is yet to train the winner
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained 3 of the last 6 winners (won the race 4 times in total)
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 5 of the last 18 winners
Henry de Bromhead (Ire) has trained 2 of the last 7 winners
Jessica Harrington (Ire) has trained 2 of the last 15 winners
Another fascinating race to look forward to a this season’s Festival, with all eyes being on last year’s Arkle winner – ALTIOR. Yes, he’s had a few issues over the summer and had wind surgery, but I think it’s fair to say that op worked! With punter not sure if he’d return the same horse, or not, his return run at Newbury in the Betfair Exchange Chase was always going to be key. However, he bolted-up by an easy 4 lengths that day and had this season’s Tingle Creek winner – Politologue – trailing back in second, so it’s hard to see that Paul Nicholls-trained 7 year-old turning the tables on Altior. Yes, some people might look to the dreaded bounce factor, or the fact he’s only been out once since last April, but let’s not forget he’s now 7-from-7 over fences. He’s gone well fresh in the past and backed that up in his following race too, so there is little reason to take him on. He’s a two-time Festival winner, after taking the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and last season’s Arkle, while he had one of his main rivals in this race – Min – 7 lengths back in that Supreme. Okay, some might feel the Willie Mullins-trained Min has improved and the way he won at Leopardstown in February was impressive – but, let’s get one thing straight – he didn’t have an Altior in that race! Of course, Min is still a very decent horse and he’s 4 from 5 over fences, but he did get beaten at 2/7 on over Christmas so is vulnerable, while – did you know his trainer – Willie Mullins – is yet to win this race? Some might feel he’s also got a bit to prove at the track – we’ll see. Douvan is the other potential fly in the ointment, if returning to his best. He was sent off the short-priced favourite in this race 12 months ago, but ran no sort of race to be 7th. That clearly wasn’t his true running and he was found to be injured after the race. He’s been off the track since, so a lot has to be taken on trust if he’ll return the same horse as we saw winning 9 times over fences. Of the rest, it would be foolish to totally rule out the current champion – SPECIAL TIARA (e/w). This 11 year-old likes to get on with the job and can be expected to make a bold bid from the front again. With little depth to the race outside the main players he rates the best of the rest and if you are looking for an alternative to backing Altior then siding with the reigning champ each-way would not be the worst shout in the world.
BEST BET: ALTIOR
BEST OF THE REST: SPECIAL TIARA