Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham is the ultimate prize for chasers over two miles.

It attracts the fastest steeplechasers from Britain and Ireland as the established stars clash with last year’s top novices.

Badsworth Boy (1983-1985) is the only horse to have won the race three times while dual winners include Moscow Flyer (2003, 2005), Master Minded (2008, 2009), Sprinter Sacre (2013, 2016) and Altior (2018, 2019).

Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Race

The Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles is the highlight on day two of the Cheltenham Festival in March.

There are thirteen fences to be jumped on the Old Course at Cheltenham racecourse and one mistake can prove costly at this level.

Although the emphasis is on fast, accurate jumping, the Cheltenham hill provides a testing finish with the lead often changing hands on the run-in.

Famous Queen Mother Champion Chase Winners & History

The Champion Chase was first run in 1959 as the National Hunt Two-Mile Chase with victory going to Ireland’s Quita Que.

The race was renamed to mark The Queen Mother’s 80th birthday in 1980.

The closest Her Majesty came to victory was in 1976 when Game Spirit finished second to Skymas.

Many famous steeplechasers have won the Champion Chase but few were more impressive than Flyingbolt in 1966. He won this so easily that he took his chance in the Champion Hurdle the following day where he finished third.

Crisp will forever be remembered as the most gallant loser in Grand National history (second to Red Rum in 1973) but he won this race two years’ earlier.

Badsworth Boy was trained by the Dickinson family to complete an unprecedented hat-trick of victories here from 1983 to 1985. He was a high class hurdler but nothing could live with him over fences. He was ridden by Robert Earnshaw on all three occasions, beating his rivals by a distance in 1983.

Popular dual winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase include Viking Flagship (1994, 1995), Moscow Flyer (2003, 2005) and Master Minded (2008, 2009).

In recent years Nicky Henderson’s two star chasers have each recorded two victories in this race. Sprinter Sacre (1-4 favourite) started the shortest priced winner in the history of the race in 2013. His career was interrupted by a heart condition the following season but he made a triumphant return in 2016.

Henderson only had to wait two years before he had another champion chaser on his hands in Altior. He won in 2018 and 2019 but an injury prevented him from chasing a third successive victory in 2020.

One Man (1998) was another very popular winner, trained by Gordon Richards and ridden by Brian Harding. The grey was better known for his exploits over three miles, including back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase in 1995 and 1996.

Key Queen Mother Champion Chase Trials

The Clarence House Chase at Ascot has been the key trial for the Champion Chase in recent seasons. Five of the last twelve winners had won the Ascot race prior to coming here. Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre, Sire De Grugy, Dodging Bullets and Altior all won both races in the same season.

The Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury are other useful trials. Sprinter Sacre (2015) is among those to win the Desert Orchid Chase before winning the Champion Chase.

Altior won the Game Spirit Chase in 2017, 2018 and 2020 with the 2019 renewal lost to the weather.

Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Trends

Favourites have a mixed record in this race in recent years with five victories in the past twelve years.

All bar Big Zeb (2010), Sizing Europe (2011) and Special Tiara (2017) were in the top three in the Champion Chase betting.

The last major shock in this race was 16-1 shot Newmill in 2006 who beat a field that included Kauto Star and Moscow Flyer.

Queen Mother Champion Chase Stats

  • All bar two of the last twelve Queen Mother Champion Chase winner had raced within the previous two months.
  • Eight of those had won on their most recent start.
  • Previous experience over this course is a key factor will all twelve having already raced here, seven of them having recorded Cheltenham victories.
  • Experience counts for a lot here with all recent winners having raced at least seven times over fences.
  • Most had won at least five chases prior to the Champion Chase and had been successful in a Grade 1 race.
  • Horses aged eight to ten have the best recent record in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
  • The French-bred Master Minded won this race as a five-year-old in 2008.
  • Moscow Flyer gained his second victory at the age of 11 in 2005.

Top Trainers and Jockeys

Three trainers share the record for most winners in this race; Tom Dreaper, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls. Henderson reached that landmark with Altior’s second victory in 2019, Nicholls joining him with Politologue’s 2020 success. Dreaper’s victories included Flyingbolt in 1966.

Barry Geraghty and Pat Taaffe each rode the winner of this race on five occasions. Geraghty’s last victory here came aboard Henderson’s Sprinter Sacre in 2013. The Lambourn trainers last three winners were all ridden by stable jockey Nico de Boinville.

Betting on the Betwat Queen Mother Champion Chase 2021

Ante-post betting on the Queen Mother Champion Chase is available throughout the year.

The early odds are based on the outcome of the previous season’s race. Altior (2018-2019) became the first horse to successfully defend his title since Master Minded (2008-2009).

This is also the obvious target for the winner of the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, although it takes an exceptional horse to make the leap from top novice to Champion chaser.

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Summary of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of the highlights of the Cheltenham festival and often features some of the most popular horses in training. Sprinter Sacre and Altior both had huge followings coming to this meeting.

There are few more exciting sights at Cheltenham than the best two-mile chasers coming down the hill.