Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Offers
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New customers only. Offer expires at the scheduled off time of the first race. Max stake £1 - on the #YourNation market. Bonus funds credited within 24 hours. Turnover requirement of 3x the bonus funds value within 30 days at the minimum odds of 1.6. 18+ only. Begambleaware.org. Ends on: 13/03/19
18+ UK&IRE Only. New & Registered customers. Money Back as a free bet on all losers in the 15:30 Cheltenham if Altior wins. Applies from 10am, 11th March. Applies to singles placed pre-race only. Applies to the win part of each-way singles only (up to £10 win). Max free bet £10 per customer per race. T&Cs apply.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase takes place on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival each year, with the Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase being open to horses aged five years and older. Run on the Old Course at the famous Cheltenham Racecourse, runners and riders battle it out over a distance of two miles and 7 furlongs, with 12 fences to be jumped. As the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, Queen Mother Champion Chase betting is always fiercely competitive, with runners for the 2019 race having been confirmed.
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Preview By Ed Quigley
Growing up just outside Cheltenham, Ed spent over a decade with the Racing Post. He was best known for his Longshot column, RPTV, and as a weekly columnist in the Racing & Football Outlook. Now as a freelance Racing Broadcaster and Journalist, he is a regular on Ladbrokes TV and Sky Sports Racing amongst other things. He describes himself as a Cheltenham Festival fanatic!
This race looks a one horse race on paper, as bar anything silly happening, the imperious Altior (4/9) will be looking to make it four consecutive wins at the Cheltenham Festival, and notch back to back successes in this contest.
The Nicky Henderson trained nine-year-old looks to be in a league of his own. Rewind the clock to 2016, and he was an emphatic winner of the Supreme, as he stormed up the Cheltenham Hill, putting the well-touted Min (8/1) in his place. After Altior won the Arkle the following year, the same two horses clashed again in this race twelve months ago, when despite looking in a spot of bother has they turned into the home straight, the Seven Barrows superstar hit the turbo to pull clear once more at Prestbury Park.
This season he has looked as good as ever, and it is hard to make a cogent case as to why he will not be walking back into the winners enclosure on the Wednesday afternoon. If you being pedantic, you could argue that in winning the Arkle in 2017, and last year’s Champion Chase success, were the two occasions in which he has looked the least impressive compared to some of his more spectacular performances that gathered in all the superlatives.
Nonetheless, it is a joy to have him around and he can win this in style and can cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats in the process.
Footpad (8/1) & Un De Sceaux (16/1)
As mentioned, Min has just come up short against Altior when it has come to the crunch, and the same looks inevitable once again here. The is every possibility that the Willie Mullins representative could swerve his old for and line up in the Ryan Air Chase. There will a lot of head scratching in the Mullins camp as to where he sends his troops, including Footpad (8/1) and the veteran Un De Sceaux (16/1).
Things just haven’t gone right for Footpad this season, who since winning all his races last campaign, including the Arkle, has yet to register a win in either start in his first season out of novice company. His jumping hasn’t been up to scratch and with the likelihood of ground conditions to be quicker than ideal for him, it wouldn’t be a shock if he moved up in trip to tackle the Ryanair Chase. In the longer term, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went to 3m and beyond with him. It could just be that he needs plenty of cut in the ground to operate at his peak.
Un De Sceaux has been a stable star for Willie Mullins for many years now, but was a shock defeat in the Ryanair Chase last year, and is unlikely to get the testing ground he thrives on. At the age of 11, his best days are more than likely to be behind him and he will be struggling to win again this time around. If the weather forecasters have it all wrong and the meeting ended up on very soft ground, then obviously he couldn’t be ruled out of whichever contest he participates. With the outlook as it is, he is passed over at his current odds.
Sceau Royal (16/1)
For an each-way play, the Alan King trained Sceau Royal (16/1) could be the one to follow. A winner of five of his seven starts over fences, he was forced to miss last season’s Arkle through injury. His only two defeats over fences came when beaten a neck by North Hill Harvey over C&D back in 2017, and last time out in the Tingle Creek, when finishing last behind Altior. That was an epic battle in which Altior got the better of Un De Sceaux, and the very soft conditions that day went totally against the wishes of the Alan King representative.
Connections have always stressed how he is better on a quicker surface, so in all likelihood conditions should suit him much better at Prestbury Park. It shouldn’t be forgotten that he has winning course form to his name, and a recent pipe-opener when second in the Kingwell Hurdle should have done him the world of good. King admitted that the race was a bit of an after thought, and essentially will have been used to fine tune him. At his best, he has a smart turn of foot, and his greatest asset is undoubtedly his slickness over his obstacles. The fact this race is often run at searing pace should suit his ability to jump and travel nicely in behind his rivals.
On the assumption that usual spring ground materialises for the Festival, then I see the gelding being a lively each-way candidate, and it is possible that we are yet to see him reach his peak over fences. I think he will be patiently ridden to try and pounce in the closing stages and he looks more than capable of getting in the shake-up at 16/1 in a race that I think will cut up to a 7 or 8 runner field. It may also pay to look at the ‘without Altior’ market here too. A stand-out 11/2 each-way without the reigning champion looks a solid proposition in my view, as I repeat ,this race ifs full of horses that could easily run elsewhere, whereas .
Fox Norton (25/1)
Others to note at much bigger prices include Fox Norton (25/1). The nine-year-old was beaten a head in this race in 2017 and clearly enjoys Cheltenham. However, he has struggled with niggles over the last couple of seasons and he was firmly put in his place by Altior in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January.
He is stuck between a rock and a hard place, as connections may well opt to swerve Altior and step up in trip for the Ryanair Chase. However, Fox Norton has shown that he can be keen on more than one occasion, so getting him to settle could be a problem over the longer trip. With the Champion Chase field likely to cut up, the Tizzard team will probably leave it until the last minute to make their call.
Saint Calvados (33/1)
Saint Calvados (33/1) is hard to predict, and will probably come up short in this company. He stopped to a walk in the Arkle last year and looks to be 10lb shy of what is needed. However, it is far from inconceivable that he could run into the frame at a big price, and Harry Whittington has confirmed he is on target for the contest.
He scooped a nice pot at Naas on his seasonal reappearance at Grade 3 level (in which Footpad fell) and was last seen coming third to Min in the Grade 1 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. His trailblazing tactics don’t seem to work at the higher level, so it is possible he could be ridden with a bit more restraint here. He appears to be ore versatile in regards to ground than first thought – he was pigeon-holed as a bit of a mudlark last season, but the manner in which he jumped and travelled at Naas suggests he is fine on a much quicker surface.
Sceau Royal 16/1 (each-way) / 11/2 (each-way, ‘without Altior’)
Check out our Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide for the list of TOP 20 betting sites to place a bet on upcoming Festival.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase was established in 1959, having originally been known as the National Hunt Two Mile Champion Chase. Its name was changed in recognition for the Queen Mother’s support of jump racing back in 1980.
2018 winner Altior currently tops the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting odds, while the likes of Min and Sceau Royal being among the other leading candidates this time around. Altior maintained his unbeaten record over fences in winning 12 months ago, in what was one of the races of the entire Festival. The nine-year-old showed his class by powering clear of Min in the closing stages, eventually coming out on top by a margin of seven lengths.
Trainer Nicky Henderson has won the Queen Mother Champion Chase four times in the last seven years, including two successes with Sprinter Sacre in 2013 and 2016. Elsewhere, Henry De Bromhead has two wins to his name since 2011, with Sizing Europe and Special Tiara. A number of jockeys have also achieved great success in this race, with Nico de Boinville having won twice in the last three years, including onboard Altior just 12 months ago. Barry Geraghty has four Queen Mother Champion Chase wins to his name, with the last coming with Sprinter Sacre in 2013.
With the Queen Mother Champion Chase being one of the standout races during the Cheltenham Festival, it comes as little surprise that a number of bookmakers introduce generous promotions surrounding the race. Cheltenham betting offers can help maximise winnings and minimise losses, whether they be in the form of an additional placed finish or non runner no bet.
Will Nicky Henderson and Altior make it back-to-back victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase? Or will we see a shock in Wednesdays feature race such as when 11/1 shot Special Tiara won two years ago? Altior is the firm favourite with a number of bookmakers in the build-up to the race, however there are a number of appealing options elsewhere also.