CHAMPION CHASE

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.

Champion Chase Trophy
Grade 1 | 5yo+ | Wednesday 15:30
2 miles | 13 fences | Old Course
Weight: 11st 10lb | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2022): £400,000 | 1st: £225,080

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.

12 of the last 14 winners were trained by either Nicky Henderson (5), Paul Nicholls (4) or Henry de Bromhead (3)
17 of the 21 winners this century had run at the Festival before (13 had won)
7 of the last 11 Arkle Chase winners from the previous season to have run have won
Willie Mullins has never trained the winner (13 runners)
9 of the last 13 favourites were sent off at odds-on (3 won)
10 of the last 30 favourites won

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

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
8
175
11-10
2021
7
156
11-3
2020
9
165
11-10
2019
9
175
11-10
2018
8
170
11-10

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Energumene
Paul Townend / W P Mullins
5/2
2021
Put The Kettle On
Aidan Coleman / Henry De Bromhead
17/2
2020
Politologue
Harry Skelton / Paul Nicholls
6/1
2019
Altior
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
4/11f
2018
Altior
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
Evensf
2017
Special Tiara
Noel Fehily / Henry de Bromhead
11/1
2016
Sprinter Sacre
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
5/1
2015
Dodging Bullets
Sam Twiston-Davies / Paul Nicholls
9/2
2014
Sire de Grugy
Jamie Moore / Gary Moore
11/4f
2013
Sprinter Sacre
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
1/4f
2012
Finian's Rainbow
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
4/1
2011
Sizing Europe
Andrew Lynch / Henry de Bromhead
10/1
2010
Big Zeb
Barry Geraghty / Colm Murphy
10/1
2009
Master Minded
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
4/11f
2008
Master Minded
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
3/1
2007
Voy Por Ustedes
Robert Thornton / Alan King
5/1
2006
Newmill
Andrew McNamara / John Joseph Murphy
16/1
2005
Moscow Flyer
Barry Geraghty / Jessica Harrington
6/4f
2004
Azertyuiop
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
15/8
2003
Moscow Flyer
Barry Geraghty / Jessica Harrington
7/4f
2002
Flagship Uberalles
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
7/4f
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Edredon Bleu
Tony McCoy / Henrietta Knight
7/2

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:

‘WHAT A SUPERSTAR HE IS AND, BOY, AM I LUCKY TO RIDE HIM...HE’S A FREAK’

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:

‘HE IS SCINTILLATING, HE IS SPARKLING, HE IS SPINE TINGLING’

Looking back further, Master Minded cantered to the first of back-to-back Champion Chase victories in 2008:

‘HE COULD BE ONE OF THE GREATS, HE’S ABSOLUTELY HACKED UP’

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:

‘IT’S DIFFERENT NOW BECAUSE THE FENCE IS NO LONGER THERE, BUT I ALWAYS SAID COMING DOWN TO THAT SECOND-LAST FENCE IN A CHAMPION CHASE WAS AS BIG A THRILL AS YOU COULD GET RIDING’

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:

The Queen Mother's name was added to the race title in 1980 in recognition of her support of jumps racing.