The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the most prestigious 2-mile chase of the year and feature race on Day 2 of the Festival.
Ran at breakneck speed by the fastest chasers in training, fencing accurately is crucial - one mistake and any chance of winning is likely to have gone.
Many legends of the sport made their names in this race, such as Badsworth Boy, Pearlyman, Viking Flagship, Moscow Flyer, Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and Altior.
But perhaps the greatest two-mile chaser of them all was Flyingbolt, who cruised to victory in the 1966 Champion Chase at 1/5 - the shortest price in the history of the race.
CHAMPION CHASE TRENDS
Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have each trained the Champion Chase winner six times.
Henderson has won 5 of the last 11 renewals, courtesy of Finian's Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2013, 2016) and Altior (2018, 2019).
Notably, five of the last six odds-on favourites have failed to win this race, including the last three contests:
Un De Sceaux (4/6) in 2016, Douvan (2/9) in 2017, Defi Du Seuil (2/5) in 2020, Chacun Pour Soi (8/13) in 2021 and Shishkin (5/6) in 2022.
Unsurprisingly, previous Festival form is a huge trends plus and the Arkle Novices' Chase is the first place to look, as several horses have won both races.
The likes of Flagship Uberalles, Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, Voy Por Ustedes, Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Put The Kettle On have all completed that double.
LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA
Energumene gave Willie Mullins his first Queen Mother Champion Chase victory in 2022.
The highly-anticipated showdown between him and Shishkin was an anticlimax, with the odds-on favourite pulled up in soggy conditions which had turned the ground heavy.
But the victor, sporting the blue and white colours of Tony Bloom, also owner of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, relished the conditions:
Put The Kettle On, ridden by Aidan Coleman, was the first mare to win the Champion Chase in 2021:
Fourth and second to Altior in the last two renewals, Politologue gave owner John Hales his third winner of the race in 2020 (following One Man in 1998 & Azertyuiop in 2004).
It was jockey Harry Skelton's first ride in the Champion Chase:
Altior made it four Cheltenham Festival wins in four years in 2019 - extending his winning sequence over jumps to a record-equalling 18:
He had shrugged off a late fitness scare for a long-awaited clash with Douvan in 2018.
Douvan was leading when falling four out, while Altior was being niggled by Nico de Boinville down the hill. But when they straightened for home his class kicked in:
Special Tiara won the Champion Chase at his fourth attempt in 2017, with the 2/9 favourite Douvan finishing lame:
Sprinter Sacre produced one of the most extraordinary Festival comebacks in 2016, returning to regain his crown having spent two years in the wilderness:
Dodging Bullets 2015
Sire De Grugy 2014
According to official ratings, the greatest performance of the modern era was in 2013, when Sprinter Sacre trounced a high-class field of multiple graded winners:
Finian's Rainbow 2012
Sizing Europe 2011
Big Zeb 2010
Master Minded 2009
Master Minded was aged just five when cantering to the first of his Champion Chase victories in 2008:
The 2006 renewal, won by Newmill, was notable for being the only time that Moscow Flyer (aged 12) and Kauto Star (aged 6) met.
Kauto Star fell at the third fence, which badly interfered with Moscow Flyer, who was always struggling to get into the race from then onwards and was retired after the race.
In 2005 Moscow Flyer regained his crown in what had been billed as a 3-horse race with defending champion Azertyuiop and the previous years’ Arkle winner, Well Chief.
He had blundered and unseated jockey Barry Geraghty when defending his title as odds-on favourite in 2004.
But this time the eleven-year-old jumped effortlessly and held off the challenge of Well Chief (almost half his age):
Azertyuiop took full advantage of Moscow Flyer's misfortune 12 months earlier - a victory celebrated by a jubilant Ruby Walsh:
Moscow Flyer 2003
Flagship Uberalles, winner of the Arkle in 1999, won the 2002 Champion Chase under a spirited ride from Richard Johnson.
He was also third in this race in 2000 and runner-up in 2004, when aged 10.
One of the most memorable finishes of all-time at the Festival was Edredon Bleu's ding-dong battle with Direct Route and Flagship Uberalles in the 2000 renewal.
Headed close home, AP McCoy galvanized his mount to win by the shortest of margins and secure his only victory in this race:
Call Equiname 1999
One of the most popular Champion Chase winners was the enigmatic One Man.
He had looked a certain winner of the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup three fences from home, before his tank suddenly emptied. And it was the same story 12 months later.
But in 1998, over this shorter trip, the grey jumped in characteristically exhilarating style and kept on up the hill:
Martha's Son 1997
Klairon Davis 1996
Viking Flagship 1995
The 1994 renewal provided another of the great Festival finishes with Viking Flagship, a half-brother of Flagship Uberalles, battling to the first of back-to-back victories:
While a year earlier Declan Murphy memorably cajoled Deep Sensation to victory.
He was one of 10 winners at the Festival for trainer Josh Gifford between 1988 and 1995.
Remittance Man 1992
Barnbrook Again 1990
Back in 1985 Badsworth Boy achieved the feat of being the first and so far only three-time winner of the Champion Chase, ridden each time by Robert Earnshaw: