Queen Mother Champion Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Cheltenham, 3.30, 13th March 2019
Staying chasers get to claim many headlines over the year with races like the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Queen Mother Champion Chase provides an opportunity for the minimum distance chasers to claim the limelight for an afternoon.
This Grade 1 contest is as good as it gets in terms of chases over two miles. It’s an incredibly popular race which creates heroes such as Sprinter Sacre and Master Minded and we have the potential for a ding dong battle between Altior and Min ahead of us.
Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Offers and Free Bets
- PADDY POWER 36/1 ENHANCED ODDS ON ALTIOR TO WIN – New Customers can get Altior at an enhanced 36/1 to win Champion Hurdle. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
- More Queen Mother Champion Chase offers and bonuses will appear very soon, but take a look at the latest Cheltenham Festival free bets and promos to see what the bookies are already dishing out!
- Also check out our Altior Cheltenham Betting Offers article for the best deals for the hot favourite!
Queen Mother Champion Chase Ante Post Betting Tips 2019
Odds correct at time of writing and are subject to change.
Queen Mother Champion Chase Ante Post Tips and Race Preview 2019
The 2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase is all about one horse. Altior confirmed that he is one of the best horses in training with a dominant win in this 2 mile chase last year and has been at his brilliant best during the course of this season.
He is, for many, the safest bet of Cheltenham 2019 but we’ve seen shocks before so this is no time for jockey, Nico de Boinville, to allow any sort of complacency to sneak in.
Lack of Top Quality Competition Strengthens Altior’s Chances
Altior is such a high calibre and proven performer in short distance chases that he would be the favourite no matter which horse lined up against him in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old was odds on before the official declarations for the race were made but his position has only strengthened since his opponents were confirmed.
The big disappointment for racing fans was that Footpad was not given a shot against Altior. It’s not been a vintage season so far for Footpad but he was a very good winner of last year;s Arkle and without him Wednesday’s championship race is very much a foregone conclusion in the eyes of most judges.
Min is the horse the bookies think is most likely to take up the battle to Altior. Willie Mullins’ eight-year-old is in good form and looks the best of the rest but he’s finished second to Altior in this race last year and in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016. Such is Altior’s quality that finishing second to him is regarded a real achievement. That’s surely the best Min’s connections can hope for.
Altior, too, is in very good form. His three wins this season stretched his unbeaten streak to 17 and there really is no reason to suggest he’ll be stopped making it 18 at a best price of 4/9 with BetVictor.
Can Saint Calvados Bounce Back from Last Year’s Calamity
Saint Calvados was always going to be up against it in last year’s Arkle. Footpad was the odds on favourite for the race and proved his class by finishing 14 lengths clear of the field. Saint Calvados was a further 39 lengths behind as he had nothing left to give in the closing stages and basically cantered home.
The damage was done very early when Saint Calvados stuck with the crazily fast pace set by Petit Mouchoir. He’s come back and done some decent work this season. Despite never looking close to landing a glove on Altior or Un De Sceaux he earned credit in the Tingle Creek Chase but was flat last time out at Leopardstown.
Saint Calvados is still only six and has plenty of scope for improvement. Harry Whittington believes he’s shown enough both when competing and at home to suggest he deserves to be at this level and he may just squeeze a surprise place at a very generous 40/1 with bet365.
Queen Mother Champion Chase Previous Winners
- 2018 – Altior – jockey Nico de Boinvilley, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2017 – Special Tiara – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Henry de Bromhead
- 2016 – Sprinter Sacre – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2015 – Dodging Bullets – jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2014 – Sire De Grugy – jockey Jamie Moore, trainer Gary Moore
- 2013 – Sprinter Sacre – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2012 – Finian’s Rainbow – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2011 – Sizing Europe – jockey Andrew Lynch, trainer Henry de Bromhead
- 2010 – Big Zeb – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Colm Murphy
- 2009 – Master Minded – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2008 – Master Minded – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Voy Por Ustedes – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
- 2006 – Newmill – jockey Andrew J. McNamara, trainer John Joseph Murphy
Queen Mother Champion Chase Trends
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is about two things – pace and jumping ability. It’s a race for specialist chasers over 2m so a certain amount of appearances in chases over that distance are vital. Specifically, it pays to focus on horses who have had at least nine runs at or around 16 furlongs whilst most recent winners had racked up six or more wins over the distance.
Delve a little further into previous appearances and you’ll find that five chase wins is the minimum threshold required for a Champion Chase bet. Moreover, at least one success at a Grade 1 level is highly desirable.
With recent wins from the likes of Altior, Master Minded and Sprinter Sacre the Champion Chase is a race for highly rated horses. Special Tiara, the 2017 winner, was something of a rarity in that he had an official rating of less than 160. His win also went against the grain in as much as he was priced at 11/1. It’s much more common for Champion Chase winners to come from the top three in the betting and winning favourites are far from rare.
No Easy Trask To Train A Champion
What Special Tiara did have ahead of his win was a very good relationship with Noel Fehily. Such a partnership is very important as it takes supreme confidence from both horse and jockey to get over the 12 fences in running at the sort of speed that the Champion Chase is always run over.
It also takes a real feat of training to get a horse ready to win this contest. That’s a feat which Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have achieved multiple times, adding to the strong record of British trainers. Several Irish trainers have saddled the winner of the Champion Chase but Willie Mullins is a surprise absentee from the list of successful trainers.
Queen Mother Champion Chase History
Up until 1980 this contest had the simple title of the National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase. The Queen Mother, an ardent racing fan and owner, was granted the honour of having this race named after her in 1980. No commercial sponsorship was given to the race until the year 2007 when Seasons Holidays lent their support. Sportingbet and Betvictor later sponsored the race and another betting firm, Betway, took over in 2015.
It takes a special type of animal to be able to travel and jump at the speed required to land this event, and some real superstars have taken the contest over the years. It has proven relatively common for such a star chaser to take this prize on more than one occasion. In total 10 horses have twice taken home the prize, including dual Cheltenham Gold Cup runner up Fortria, the brilliant Master Minded and 13 time Grade 1 winning Irish superstar, Moscow Flyer. Topping the lot though is Badsworth Boy who took this race in 1983, 1984 and 1985 for Michael and Monica Dickinson.
The class of a performer has occasionally been well known in advance of this race, resulting in some pretty short priced winners. Sprinter Sacre more than lived up to his status as 1/4 favourite in 2013 when demolishing the field by 19 lengths without apparently breaking sweat. Shortest price of all though was Tom Dreaper’s Flyingbolt, who won at 1/5 in 1966.
The biggest priced winner arose in controversial circumstances. Chinrullah passed the post first in 1980 but was found to have run under the influence of a banned substance and disqualified. Second place finisher Another Dolly was promoted to first at the rewarding odds of 33/1.
The youngest winner in the races history was also one of its most impressive. No five-year-old had previously come home in front when Master Minded lined up for this in 2008. In a race billed as one of the clashes of the festival with the previous year’s winner Voy Por Ustedes sent off favourite, Master Minded produced one of those performances which simply takes the breath away. A winning margin of 19 lengths could have been so much more as Ruby Walsh no more than coasted home in a race that had long been over as a contest.
Advancing years doesn’t appear to be as much of a barrier to success here as in some of the festivals other two mile contests. 12 winners have been aged 10 or above in the first 56 editions of the race. Mouse Morris’s Skymas joined this club when coming home in front in 1976 and repeated the trick in 1977 at 12 years of age to become the oldest winner in the history of the race.
Paul Nicholls’ 2015 victory with Dodging Bullets was his fifth in the race, putting him one behind Tom Dreaper on the list of leading trainers. Barry Geraghty’s 2013 romp on Sprinter Sacre was also his fifth here putting him level with Pat Taaffe as the leading jockey in this race. The amazing victory by Sprinter Sacre in 2016 – this time with Nico de Boinville in the saddle – was a sight to behold and cemented Sprinter’s place as one of the very greatest horses there has been!
In 2017 there was a surprise winner in the form of Henry de Bromhead’s Special Tiara, who ran in at 11/1 as stong odds-on favourite Douvan was well off the pace. While in 2018 Nicky Henderson’s Altior romped home by seven lengths ahead of Willie Mullins’ Min.