- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 OLBG Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 5:30 Close Brothers Novices Chase
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Queen Mthr Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Fred Winter H'Cap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 JLT Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Trull House Stud Mares Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Queen Mother Champion Chase Tips - 3.30pm Cheltenham
On day two of the Festival all eyes will be on the feature race where we bring you Queen Mother Champion Chase tips. It brings together the quickest jumpers around and is often run at top speed from start to finish.
Ante-post favourite Altior is hard to oppose here and is unbeaten in twelve races over hurdles and fences. In his first season he made it 5 from 5 over the smaller obstacles when landing the Supreme Novices Hurdle from the Willie Mullins trained Min. He won by 7 lengths that day and was immediately put away to get ready for his chasing career.
He went on to win his first four chases on the bridle and then won the Arkle Chase by six lengths from Cloudy Dream. Unfortunately he suffered a minor injury and had to have a wind operation which has put him on the sidelines for most of the season. He made his comeback in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury and couldnt have been more impressive. On that form he looks well on his way to securing another big title and will be a very short price favourite to do so.
Last years winner Special Tiara will be one of those responsible for the pace, the 11yo has no other way of running and if he jumps as well as he can do he will be still battling at the head of the race turning for home.
Twelve months ago the race fell apart when hot favourite Douvan failed to spark, it left the race wide open and many people though the winner was a touch fortunate. At the end of the day he was the horse that took full advantage and fought off the challenge of Fox Norton to win by a head.
This season hasn’t gone according to plan so far and last time out uncharacteristically fell when still going ok in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton. He often goes well in the spring so his supporters will not be too worried about his form just yet.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this race five times in the past but has found it difficult replace his Grade 1 stars like Master Minded who won this race a few years back. As a result he wasn’t really expected to challenge for the big championship races this season but has done well with his 7yo Politologue.
Owned by the Hales family, of Neptune Collonges and One Man fame, he has won six of his nine starts over fences and has improved this season to earn a mark of 165, that certainly is on a par with some recent winners and earned his biggest pay check when beating Fox Norton in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December.
He has since won at Kempton in lesser company but has proved beyond doubt that he is an out and out two-miler and deserves his chance in the line up despite a heavy defeat in the hands of Altior last time.
The Irish have won this race six times since 2003 but the name of Willie Mullins is not as yet on the roll of honour. The leading handler at the Festival on no less than five times has had no luck in the race and his last two runners Un De Sceaux and Douvan were odds on favourites but still couldn’t get the job done.
This time round Mullins has no clear fancy but with Min and Yorkhill he has two decent horses that on their day could give anyone a run for their money. The most likely runner is Min who had most of last year off but has returned with a victory at Gowran Park in November and then was second to Simply Ned at Leopardstown after being demoted by the stewards.
That last run was a bit of a disappointment as he should have won easily in that company but could be still improving as he has only had 9 career starts and learning all of the time.
Yorkhill has won at the last two Festivals, in 2016 he took the Neptune and then last year came out top in the JLT beating Top Notch in the process. Most of his races have been beyond two miles but Mullins has always thought he’d be good enough to run in the highest grade at the minimum trip. It will be interesting to see if has a go at the Champion Chase this year.
Mullins also has Great Field who is owned by J.P.McManus, the famous green and gold hoops have never lifted the Champion Chase despite many attempts in the past. This young horse has come on leaps and bounds this season and deserves a crack at the big time.
Last time out he won his first Grade 1 race when taking the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown by 11 lengths and looked very impressive. He is a confirmed front runner and takes the odds chance with his fences, if he gets into a rhythm he could be very hard to peg back.
Of the others we have Fox Norton and Un De Sceaux, both have finished second in this race before and on their best form could easily grab a place once again. The likelihood is that both will contest the Ryanair if as expected Altior is declared fit to run here.
Champion Chase Runners
Champion Chase Trends
|9/10 Winners||Had won a Grade 1 Chase|
|9/10 Winners||Won last time out|
|9/10 Winners||Had just 2 or 3 starts that season|
|7/10 Winners||Were in the first 3 in the betting|
|7/10 Winners||Were trained in England|
|8/10 Winners||Previously ran at the Cheltenham Festival|
|8/10 Favourites||Did NOT win|
|5/10 Winners||Were bred in France|
|5/10 Winners||Prep race in Tingle Creek Chase|
|6/10 Winners||Trained by Nicholls or Henderson|
Champion Chase Previous Winners
|2017||Special Tiara||10||Noel Fehily||Henry De Bromhead||11/1|
|2016||Sprinter Sacre||10||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson||5/1|
|2015||Dodging Bullets||7||Sam Twiston-Davies||Paul Nicholls||4/1|
|2014||Sire de Grugy||8||Jamie Moore||Gary Moore||11/4|
|2013||Sprinter Sacre||7||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||1/4|
|2012||Finian's Rainbow||9||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||4/1|
|2011||Sizing Europe||9||Andrew Lynch||Henry de Bromhead||10/1|
|2010||Big Zeb||9||Barry Geraghty||Colm Murphy||10/1|
|2009||Master Minded||6||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||4/11|
|2008||Master Minded||5||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||3/1|