Champion Chase 2021 Tips (Cheltenham Day 2 3.30pm) – Is Altior still the each-way value in the race?
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is a two-mile chase with 13 fences that includes the sport’s best runners at this distance.
Politologue took the race by the scruff of the neck last year to finally get his Cheltenham festival victory for popular owner John Hales.
The race was a mouthwatering prospect with Altior, Chacun Pour Soi and Defi Du Seuil lining up, but it was only the latter of these three that ended up running and there will be the hope this time around that Chacun Pour Soi doesn’t have any setbacks in the buildup to Cheltenham.
Nicky Henderson has a fantastic record in this race having trained five of the last nine winners, with 2021 festival hopeful Altior providing two of those crowns.
Champion Chase Odds
|Chacun Pour Soi||6/5||bet365|
|Nube Negra||12/1||William Hill|
|Put The Kettle On||14/1||William Hill|
|Rouge Vif||25/1||William Hill|
|Defi De Seuil||33/1||bet365|
2021 Champion Chase Preview – The Main Contenders
- Chacun Pour Soi
- First Flow
- Nube Negra
- Put The Kettle On
Altior came second to Nube Negra on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton over the festive period, he never looked settled but he stayed on strongly.
Altior has answered his doubters before when winning the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last February, and it seems Henderson is often found defending his stable star.
Age isn’t on his side at 11 years old, but who is to say that he cannot reproduce his best days, especially at 8/1.
The horse is one of the great champions of modern racing and a champion always has a fantastic performance in him on the big stage, much like Sprinter Sacre in years gone by.
Chacun Pour Soi
The champion in waiting could well be Chacun Pour Soi from Willie Mullins’ yard, who missed out on the race last year with an abscess on his foot.
He was last seen winning at the Dublin Racing Festival in emphatic fashion and before that the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown in December, beating notable opponents in Notebook and Put The Kettle On.
Mullins was delighted with the performance and felt the horse had plenty left in the tank, it was a class performance that has made Chacun Pour Soi the short-priced favourite for this race.
At nine-years-old, the horse is not a spring chicken but it has won three Grade One races and could finally have a crack at the Champion Chase in March.
In last year’s renewal, jockey Harry Skelton made the running with Politologue and the experienced grey got his first career festival victory.
He has been a superb chaser over the years, notably winning the JLT Melling Chase in 2018 and the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase in 2017.
Politologue backed up his Champion Chase victory by winning this season’s Tingle Creek, albeit a fairly weak race.
Although he was well-beaten by First Flow in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase, he battled on strongly but the winner may have found that taking on Politolgoue at the front of the field could be the way to beat him.
First Flow is arguably the stand-out horse in Britain this season, winning all three of his appearances to take his winning run to six races.
Trainer Kim Bailey and jockey David Bass have been in scintillating form this season, and First Flow has earned a rating of 172.
Bass sent First Flow to the front with Politologue in the Clarence House with some fine jumps and the horse impressively proved itself in Grade One company.
It is incredible how much this horse has progressed and having beaten other Grade One scorers in Defi Du Seuil and Waiting Patiently as well, you would think the Champion Chase crown is now a realistic prospect.
Altior’s conqueror Nube Negra will go straight to Cheltenham as trainer Dan Skelton believes the horse goes much better fresh.
Nube Negra exceeded expectation when cruising to victory in the Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase ahead of Altior.
This performance means Skelton is looking forward to the Champion Chase, the seven-year-old very much has youth on his side and has proven he can win on the soft ground too.
The horse came third in the Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the 2018 festival, so he has had good experiences on the big occasion as well.
Put The Kettle On
Put The Kettle On won last season’s Arkle after a gritty battle with Fakir D’oudairies and won again at Cheltenham in November in the Shloer Chase.
However, Put The Kettle On was no match for Chacun Pour Soi last time at Leopardstown on 27th December.
Trained by Henry De Bromhead, the horse’s last three victories have come on soft ground and have all come at Cheltenham, so the horse has great course form.
Although the mare has an impressive record at the course, she will likely have to produce a career-best performance to outlast the previously mentioned contenders.
Champion Chase Betting Tips
Experienced and tough chasers dominate this division, and it provides a tough question to answer on who will win the Champion Chase.
Altior could still be very tough to beat despite the class that Chacun Pour Soi has shown, and the former champion’s record at Cheltenham is mightily impressive.
EACH-WAY BET: Altior – 7/1 with bet365.
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Champion Chase Trends
Age – 9 of the last 12 winners were aged between 8 and 10.
Price – 5 of the last 12 favorites won, 9/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
Last Run – 8/12 winners won on their previous run before the Queen Mother Champion Chase, 10/12 winners ran within the last 53 days.
7/12 winners ran in the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) on their last run, 5 of the 7 won, 1 placed.
Previous Course Form – 12/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 7/12 winners had a previous win at Cheltenham.
Previous Distance Form – 11 of the last 12 winners had at least 9 previous runs over 15-17 furlongs, 10/12 winners had at least 6 wins over 15-17 furlongs.
Previous Chase Form – 12/12 winners had at least 7 previous chase runs, 12/12 winners had at least 5 previous chase wins.
Rating – 10/12 winners were rated 164 or higher.
Grade 1 Wins – 12/12 winners had at least 1 grade 1 win.
Grade 2 Wins – 12/12 winners had at least 1 grade 2 win.
Season Form – 11/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season, 10/12 winners had at least 1 win that season.
Champion Chase Recent Winners
|2009||Master Minded||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls|
|2010||Big Zeb||Barry Geraghty||C A Murphy|
|2011||Sizing Europe||A E Lynch||Henry de Bromhead|
|2012||Finians Rainbow||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2013||Sprinter Sacre||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2014||Sire de Grugy||Jamie Moore||Gary Moore|
|2015||Dodging Bullets||Sam Twiston-Davies||Paul Nicholls|
|2016||Sprinter Sacre||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2017||Special Tiara||Noel Fehily||Henry de Bromhead|
|2018||Altior||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2019||Altior||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2020||Politologue||Harry Skelton||Paul Nicholls|
Champion Chase Result 2020
1st – Politologue (6/1)
2nd – Dynamite Dollars (7/1)
3rd – Bun Doran (33/1)
4th – Defi De Seuil (2/5)
Champion Chase FAQs
The 2021 Champion Chase is due off at 3.30pm on Wednesday 17th March.
Chacun Pour Soi is the current favourite at odds of 6/5 with William Hill. Altior and Politilogue are both 8/1 in the latest betting odds.
Read our Champion Chase preview to find out our thoughts on Altior's chances in the 2021 Champion Chase. The 11-year-old has a fantastic record around Cheltenham and has won the race on two previous occasions.