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.
CHAMPION CHASE TRENDS
Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have both trained the winner six times in total.
Henderson has won 5 of the last 10 renewals, courtesy of Finian's Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2013, 2016) and Altior (2018, 2019).
But it has not been a good race for Willie Mullins thus far, despite saddling the odds-on favourite three times in the last 6 years, including Chacun Pour Soi at 8/13 in 2021.
Indeed, six of the last nine odds-on shots in the Champion Chase have failed to win, including 2/5 Defi Du Seuil who finished fourth in 2020.
Unsurprisingly, previous Festival form is a huge trends plus and the Arkle 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.
Shishkin will be looking to add his name to that roll of honour this year.
LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA
Put The Kettle On was the latest Arkle winner to follow up in the Champion Chase, plus the first mare to win, in 2021:
Runner-up in 2019, Politologue gave owner John Hales his third winner of this race in 2020 (following One Man and Azertyuiop):
Altior made it four Festival wins in 4 years in 2019 - extending his winning sequence over jumps to a record-equalling 18 races:
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:
According to official ratings, the greatest performance was three years earlier, when he trounced a high-class field of multiple graded winners, earning a mark of 188:
Looking back further, Master Minded cantered to the first of back-to-back Champion Chase victories in 2008:
The 2006 renewal was notable for being the only time that Moscow Flyer (aged 12) and Kauto Star (aged 6) met:
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):
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:
One of the most popular Champion Chase winners was the enigmatic One Man.
He had looked a certain winner of the 1996 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: