Kim Muir Chase

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The Kim Muir Challenge Cup is a handicap chase over three and a quarter miles for amateur riders at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Kim Muir Chase takes place on Thursday 14th March 2024.

The race is named in honour of a cavalry office who lost his life in World War II. In 1991 the name of legendary National Hunt trainer Fulke Walwyn was added to the title, the winner of 40 festival races including four Cheltenham Gold Cups and two Champion Hurdles.

Professional riders stood in for their amateur counterparts in 2021 due to covid restrictions. The leading Irish amateurs are always in great demand for this race, particularly Jamie Codd who won it four times in an eight-year period from 2009 to 2016.

1989 winner Cool Ground went on to win a Gold Cup and 2010 winner Ballabriggs won the Grand National the following season.

Find out more about the Kim Muir Chase:

Kim Muir Chase

Kim Muir Chase Overview

The Kim Muir Challenge Cup is a steeplechase for amateur riders. Horses must be five years old or older.

The chase takes place on Cheltenham’s New Course over a distance of approximately 3 miles and 2 furlongs, with twenty-one obstacles to be jumped.

It is a handicap event that takes place on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival in March each year.

Famous Kim Muir Challenge Cup Winners & History

The inaugural Kim Muir Chase was held in 1946 and was won by Astrometer.

In 1961 it was won by a grey horse called Nicolaus Silver, trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Bill Tellwright. He won the Aintree Grand National in the same year, this time with Bobby Beasley in the saddle at odds of 28-1. He was only the second grey to win the National and it would not be until Neptune Collonges in 2012 before another grey claimed the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Chu-The became the first of only two dual winners of the race when successful in 1967 and 1968. The only other horse to do so was Fred Winter’s Glyde Court in 1985 and 1986.

Greasepaint won for Ireland in 1983 and went on to finish second to Hallo Dandy in the 1984 Grand National.

Cool Ground came storming up the Cheltenham Hill when trained by Richard Mitchell and ridden by Anthony Tory in 1989. He would win the Welsh Grand National for Reg Akehurst in 1990 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup for Toby Balding in 1991, famously edging out The Fellow by a short-head under a vigorous ride from Adrian Maguire.

Ballabriggs (2010) went on to win the Grand National the following year for trainer Donald McCain Jnr and owner, the late Trevor Hemmings.

The race almost produced another National winner but Sunnyhillboy (2012) was touched off by Neptune Collonges at Aintree. 2016 winner Cause Of Causes also finished runner-up at Aintree and 2019 winner Any Second Now finished third last year, both in the colours of JP McManus.

What are the betting trends for the Kim Muir Chase

Key Kim Muir Challenge Cup Trials

The handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival are so competitive that the winners come from a wide variety of courses and races.

Experience around Cheltenham is a definite advantage with nine of the last twelve winners having raced at least twice here over three miles or further.

Six of those winners had previously enjoyed success at Cheltenham.

Five of the last twelve winners ran at Sandown next time in the Bet365 Gold Cup, formerly known as the Whitbread, but all were beaten.

Only two of the last twenty Kim Muir winners won next time out, although it is a race worth noting for future Grand National clues.

Only Sunnyhillboy (second in 2012) ran in the Grand National the same season.

Although this is a competitive race, shocks are relatively few and far between.

Domesday Book (2017) was a 40-1 winner with only Same Difference (16-1 in 2013) and Spring Heeled (12-1 in 2014) also returning at double-figure prices in the past twelve seasons. Maximize also returned at 40-1 in 2004, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Darren Edwards.

Junior (2011), Sunnyhillboy (2012) and Mount Ida (2021) were all well-supported favourites, returning at 100-30, 13-2 and 3-1 respectively.

Cause Of Causes (2016) and Any Second Now (2019) were both the second favourites and there were four third-favourites in the same period.

Kim Muir Challenge Cup – Top Trainers and Jockeys

You have to go back to Fred Rimell for the most successful trainer in the history of the Kim Muir Challenge Cup. He won it four times; Mighty Fine (1951), Gay Monarch II (1955), Nicolaus Silver (1961) and Double Negative (1977).

Martin Pipe won it three times and his son David has two victories to his credit; Junior (2011) and The Package (2015).

Nicky Henderson also has three victories in the race but the last of those was Juveigneur in 2005, ridden by Richard Burton. The same rider won again two years later on Cloudy Lane for Donald McCain Jnr.

The trainer to follow in recent times is Gordon Elliott. He trained Cause Of Causes (2016) and Milan Native (2020) and missed out on a third when having his license suspended ahead of Mount Ida’s 2021 success, the win being credited to Denise Foster.

Jamie Codd remains the most successful jockey in the race with four winners; Character Building (2009), Junior (2011), The Package (2015) and Cause Of Causes (2016). He is the only rider to win it more than once since Richard Harding (You’re Special 2006 and Ballabriggs 2010).

Betting on the Kim Muir Challenge Cup

The Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival has quite a lively ante-post market.

Irish-trained runners have won it for the past three seasons, all quite well-supported. With bookmakers now offering “non-runner – no bet” on all Cheltenham Festival races from the end of January, betting on the Kim Muir Challenge Cup has become a more attractive proposition.

You should also look out for enhanced each-way terms on the Kim Muir with bookmakers sometimes paying out down to fifth or even sixth place.

Popular Questions

Where is the Kim Muir Chase run?

The Kim Muir Chase is run on the new course at Cheltenham.

What distance is the Kim Muir Chase?

The Kim Muir Chase is 3 miles and 2 furlongs long.

How many fences are in the Kim Muir Chase?

During the Kim Muir Chase, there is a total of 21 fences to be jumped.


Summary of the Kim Muir Chase (Walwyn Kim Muir challenge Chase)

The Kim Muir is a tough handicap chase held as part of the 4 day Cheltenham Festival in March.

Proven stamina is key with many horses going on to have success in Grand Nationals.

It can be a tough and gruelling race and in one in which those towards the top of the marketing tend to perform well with the more experienced amateur riders faring well.

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