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 RACING AHEAD give you the key Champion Chase trends to help you find the winner based on past statistics – use these trends to whittle down the 2021 Champion Chase runners and find the best past winning profile.
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.
The betting for the 2021 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase sees the 2018 and 2019 winner – Altior – as a leading player again as he bids to give trainer Nicky Henderson his seventh win in the race and his six since 2012.
Altior, who won the Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019, became the first horse to successfully defend his title since Master Minded in 2008 and 09 – if running in 2020 will now be hoping to become the first horse since Badsworth Boy (83-85) to win the race three times.
The 2020 Champion Chase went to the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue, who was giving the trainer his sixth success in the race – he’s likely to be back for more in the 2021 Champion Chase, but looks to face stern opposition from the Willie Mullins runner – Chacun Pour Soi – who, remarkably, will be looking to give Mullins his first ever win in this Cheltenham Festival ‘day two’ feature.
Here at RACING AHEAD we look back at recent winners and highlights the key trends to take into the 2021 renewal – this year run on Wednesday 17th March.
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Recent Queen Mother Champion Chase Winners
2020 – POLITOLOGUE (6/1)
2019 – ALTIOR (4/11 fav)
2018 – ALTIOR (Evs fav)
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)
Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Trends
16/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
16/18 – Had won at least 5 times over fences before
16/18 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
14/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
13/18 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
13/18 – Won last time out
11/18 – Placed favourites
11/18 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
10/18 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
8/18 – Irish bred
8/18 – French bred
7/18 – Winning favourites
6/18 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
6/18 – Won the Arkle Chase the previous season
4/18 – Ran in the Tied Cottage Chase (Punchestown) last time out
4/18 – Had won the race before
3/18 – Ran in the Game Spirit Chase (Newbury) last time out
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 9/2
Other Queen Mother Champion Chase Stats
14 of the last 20 winners ran in that season’s Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown)
22 of the last 36 winners had previously won at the Cheltenham Festival
38 of the last 39 winners returned 11/1 or shorter in the betting
16 of the last 19 Arkle Chase winners to run the next season in this have finished placed or better
18 of the last 19 winners had won a Grade One Chase previously
Champion Chase – UK vs Irish
17/23 – British-trained winners
6/23 – Irish-trained winners
Willie Mullins (Ire) is yet to train the winner
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained 5 of the last 9 winners (won the race 6 times in total)
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 6 of the last 21 winners
Henry de Bromhead (Ire) has trained 2 of the last 10 winners
Jessica Harrington (Ire) has trained 2 of the last 18 winners
RACING AHEAD VERDICT: 12 months ago, the Willie Mullins-trained Chacun Pour Soi and the two-time winner of this race – Altior – both had to pull out of contest, which left the door open for the Paul Nicholls grey – Politologue – to grab the headlines and record an incredible six wins in the race for his trainer – he needs just one more to become the all-time winning hander in the race! Having said that, the Nicky Henderson yard have also secured six Champion Chase wins – however, just as I write this the news is coming through that Henderson’s Altior is out of the race again!! He’s scoped badly by all accounts, so will miss the race for a second time in as many years and you wonder if connections will pull stumps for this former champion now – we’ll see! Anyway, it’s also a race at the Cheltenham Festival that’s so-far eluded the powerful Willie Mullins team – surprising, I know – but I think they can put that record straight here with CHACUN POUR SOI. This talented 9 year-old is the clear top-rated in the field (173), and his record of 6 chase wins from 8 is impressive. He’s returned this season with three more wins – the last being an easy success in the G1 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown, which is the best form heading into this. He’s been a fragile horse to train for Mullins, but many feel at the age of 9 he’s now peaking and that’s been backed up with his slick jumping and three easy wins this term. He’s also still lightly-raced for his age (8 chase runs and 11 in total), so there could be even more to come. Those against him might look this this being his first taster of the Festival and also Cheltenham, but there is no obvious reason to think it won’t suit him. He’s won over slightly further this season (2m 1 1/2f) so the hill and stamina needed to win this should be okay. Oh and – as mentioned – his jumping has been spot-on this season. With one of his main rivals – Altior – now out of the race, this has also made his task that bit easier. Of course, we can’t rule out last year’s winners – Politologue. But, you would say this year’s race is a lot hotter than the one Politologue won 12 months ago, while he needs to bounce back after First Flow bet him 7 lengths in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January. Of the rest, the winning machine that is First Flow – as mentioned – beat Politologue by 7 lengths last time at Ascot in the Clarence House and probably didn’t get the credit that he deserved for that. He’s a fast-improving chaser in this division and we can expect another bold and gutsy display from the front from his underrated jockey David Bass. Nube Negra also falls into the category of ‘improving 2m chaser’ and with only 5 runs over the bigger obstacles there could be more to come. He’s already beaten Altior this season and is a horse that goes well fresh, plus is versatile with the ground. The slight concern is that he’s run at Cheltenham three times now (all hurdles) and is yet to win – so do the flatter, tighter tracks suit him better? Sceau Royal is a strong traveller that’s run well in the race before, so it would be no shock if he bagged a place. But the other to have a small interest in is last year’s Arkle Chase winner – PUT THE KETTLE ON (e/w). Arkle winners have a fair record when stepping up into this race and being a mare she gets a handy 7lbs from the rest too. She’s been kept fresh for the race and her trainer – Henry De Bromhead – is no stranger to winning this race after landing he prize in 2011 with Sizing Europe and in 2-17 with Special Tiara. Her main asset is her love for Cheltenham – she’s 3-from-3 here at Prestbury Park and wasn’t disgraced last time at Leopardstown when around 8 lengths behind Chacun Pour Soi. But back at her favoured Cheltenham, she’ll at least have an advantage over the Mullins horse, who is yet to race here. She likes to be held up and come late and with First Flow expected to blast out in front, this should set things up nicely for her to come with her customary late finish and stay on well up the hill.