The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the highlight of the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.
It features the top chasers from Britain and Ireland clashing over two miles. One mistake can prove disastrous with the emphasis on speed and accurate jumping.
Only Badsworth Boy (1983 to 1985) has managed to win the Champion Chase three times while dual winners include Pearlyman, Viking Flagship and Sprinter Sacre.
The Cheltenham Festival attracts all the top-rated racehorses on the biggest stage and the Queen Mother Cheltenham Champion Chase is many horse racing fans’ favourite race of the 4-day meeting.
We have selected our top 10 Champion Chase winners, based on a combination of class and memorable victories.
The top 10 Champion Chase winners:
- 1 Badsworth Boy
- 2 Pearlyman
- 3 Barnbrook Again
- 4 One Man
- 5 Viking Flagship
- 6 Flagship Uberalles
- 7 Moscow Flyer
- 8 Master Minded
- 9 Sprinter Sacre
- 10 Altior
- 11 Top Champion Chasers Summary – Past Winners
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Michael Dickinson trained Badsworth Boy to his first two Champion Chase victories in 1983 and 1984 with his mother Monica taking over for his record third win in 1985.
He finished third in the Triumph Hurdle as a juvenile and was a very useful hurdler but came into his own over fences.
He won his first Champion Chase by a distance and his second and third by 10 lengths.
Check out the video of Badsworth Boy winning the 1983 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Although he suffered from arthritis from a young age, he enjoyed a long retirement at his owner’s home near Rotherham and died at the age of 27.
Michael Dickinson described him as the best horse he ever trained.
Pearlyman had fragile forelegs but was hugely talented and won at three consecutive Cheltenham Festivals.
He won the Grand Annual Chase in 1986 before going on to establish himself as the best two-mile chaser in Britain and Ireland with Champion Chase wins in 1987 and 1988.
He was trained by John Edwards and ridden by Peter Scudamore (1987) and Tom Morgan (1988).
David Elsworth has been associated with many great horses such as Desert Orchid, Rhyme n’ Reason and Persian Punch.
Another great horse to pass through his hands was Barnbrook Again, the winner of the Champion Chase in 1989 and 1990.
He later stepped up in distance and finished second to Desert Orchid in the 1989 King George VI Chase at Kempton.
One Man may not immediately spring to mind when discussing the Champion Chase but his win in the 1998 renewal as a ten-year-old says much about his ability.
He had already won the King George VI Chase twice over three miles, although his stamina had fallen short in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Under the care of trainer Gordon Richards, he had the class to drop back to two miles and win a Champion Chase.
He is the only horse in history to win a King George and a Champion Chase.
Tragically he fell fatally at Aintree just 16 days later and racing mourned the loss of a great champion.
Viking Flagship was a fair handicapper over hurdles, finishing in the money in the Imperial Cup and County Hurdle for David Nicholson.
He fell on his chasing debut before completing a hat-trick and would climb to the top of the two-mile chasing division, winning the Champion Chase in 1994 and 1995.
He also won a Tingle Creek Chase, a Victor Chandler Chase, the Punchestown Champion Chase and two Melling Chases.
He was regularly involved in thrilling finishes with the likes of Martha’s Son and Deep Sensation, both Champion Chase winners.
Flagship Uberalles was a half-brother to Viking Flagship and was originally trained on the flat by Dermot Weld.
He would pass through four more yards, claiming his Champion Chase win in 2002 for Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson.
He also won the Tingle Creek for three different trainers, Hobbs being preceded by Paul Nicholls and Noel Chance.
He was purchased by JP McManus later in his career and was retired to join the likes of Istabraq and Baracouda at the Martinston Stud in Ireland in 2005.
Moscow Flyer was not very big but he had a tremendous leap in him, winning the Arkle in 2002 and the Champion Chase in 2003 and 2005.
He was trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Barry Geraghty and his main rivals were Azertyuiop and Well Chief.
He lost his title to Azertyuiop when he made an uncharacteristic mistake and unseated Geraghty in the 2004 Champion Chase.
The following year he reversed the form and held off Well Chief in a thrilling finish.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh teamed up with the formidable Master Minded who powered to Champion Chase victories in 2008 and 2009.
At his best, Master Minded was awesome, also claiming two Tingle Creek Chases, two Victor Chandler Chases, a Kerrygold Champion Chase and a Melling Chase.
He became the youngest ever winner of the Champion Chase at the age of five, beating defending champion Voy Pour Ustedes by 19 lengths, making him the highest-rated steeplechaser in training.
Sprinter Sacre would also go to the very top of the ratings after his first Champion Chase victory in 2013.
Occasionally something special comes along that is just so far superior to their contemporaries that it is unreal.
Nicky Henderson’s chaser had that touch of class about him.
He started at odds of 1-4 in the 2013 Champion Chase, the shortest price at the festival meeting since Arkle’s 1966 Gold Cup. He left Sizing Europe in his wake, winning by 19 lengths without Barry Geraghty having to do more than steer him.
His career was interrupted when an irregular heartbeat was diagnosed but he was nursed back to full health and incredibly won a second Champion Chase in 2016.
Nicky Henderson must have to pinch himself sometimes at the regularity of the top-class horses he has in his care. No sooner had Sprinter Sacre retired than a ready-made champion chaser appeared in the form of Altior.
He won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and the Arkle in 2017 before back-to-back Champion Chase wins in 2018 and 2019.
While not as flamboyant as Sprinter Sacre, Altior was a winning machine and would set a new record 19 race unbeaten run before finally suffering defeat at Ascot in 2019.
Top Champion Chasers Summary – Past Winners
We hope you have liked our look at some of the top Champion Chasers from years past.
The race is undoubtedly one of the most exciting held at the March Festival, it has produced many memorable performances over the years.
If you are a punter and looking for betting advice on this year’s Cheltenham Champion Chase you might want to check out the best horse racing tipsters on who is the best value in odds, racecards and Full Cheltenham Festival Tips on this year’s Champion Chase race.
If you have a favourite that you think we have missed, let us know and we can look to add!
Leading Trainer of Queen Mother Champion Chase Wins?
The leading horse racing trainers with the most Queen Mother Champion Chase Wins are Tom Freaper, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls all with six victories each.
- Tom Dreaper – Fortria (1960, 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969), Straight Fort (1970)
- Nicky Henderson – Remittance Man (1992), Finian’s Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2013, 2016), Altior (2018, 2019)
- Paul Nicholls – Call Equiname (1999), Azertyuiop (2004), Master Minded (2008, 2009), Dodging Bullets (2015), Politologue (2020)
Check out Paul Nicholls’s Best Cheltenham Chances of a winner this year and whether he has a chance to possibly win the Champion Chase for a record seven times.
Find out whether Nicky Henderson Cheltenham Runners this year have a fighting chance to secure that record-breaking 7th win in the Queen Mother Cheltenham Champion Chase.
How many mares have won the Champion Chase?
There has only been one mare win the Queen Mother Champion Chase which is Put The Kettle On in 2023.
The mare made Cheltenham Festival history by becoming the first mare to win the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The memorable success was ridden by jockey Aidan Coleman and trained by Henry de Bromhead.
Check to see whether any of Henry de Bromhead’s Cheltenham Runners have a chance this year to create more success.
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