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.

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.

12 of the last 15 winners were trained by either Nicky Henderson (5), Paul Nicholls (4) or Henry de Bromhead (3)
17 of the 22 winners this century had run at the Festival before (13 had won)
7 of the last 12 Arkle Chase winners from the previous season to have run have won
10 of the last 14 favourites were sent off at odds-on (3 won)
10 of the last 31 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

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

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 / Willie 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

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:

‘THE RAIN REALLY HELPED US, WE WERE PRAYING FOR RAIN AND WERE ALL GETTING REALLY WET, BUT WE’RE DELIGHTED TO BE WET’

Put The Kettle On, ridden by Aidan Coleman, was the first mare to win the Champion Chase in 2021:

‘IF YOU COULD BOTTLE WHAT SHE HAD I WOULDN’T HAVE TO RIDE AGAIN. THIS MARE IS SOMETHING ELSE. I DON’T HAVE TO DO A LOT’

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:

‘I OWE SO MUCH TO THE HALES FAMILY. THEY HAVE KNOWN ME SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID. YOU DREAM OF WINNING THESE THINGS’

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:

‘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:

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:

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

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:

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

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:

‘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’

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

Katabatic 1991

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:

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

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
1999
Call Equiname
Mick Fitzgerald / Paul Nicholls
7/2
1998
One Man
Brian Harding / Gordon Richards
7/2
1997
Martha's Son
Rodney Farrant / Tim Forster
9/1
1996
Klairon Davis
Francis Woods / Arthur Moore
9/1
1995
Viking Flagship
Charlie Swan / David Nicholson
5/2f
1994
Viking Flagship
Adrian Maguire / David Nicholson
4/1
1993
Deep Sensation
Declan Murphy / Josh Gifford
11/1
1992
Remittance Man
Jamie Osborne / Nicky Henderson
Evensf
1991
Katabatic
Simon McNeill / Andrew Turnell
9/1
1990
Barnbrook Again
Hywel Davies / David Elsworth
11/10f
1989
Barnbrook Again
Simon Sherwood / David Elsworth
7/4f
1988
Pearlyman
Tom Morgan / John Edwards
15/8f
1987
Pearlyman
Peter Scudamore / John Edwards
13/8f
1986
Buck House
Tommy Carmody / Mouse Morris
5/2
1985
Badsworth Boy
Robert Earnshaw / Monica Dickinson
11/8
1984
Badsworth Boy
Robert Earnshaw / Michael Dickinson
8/13f
1983
Badsworth Boy
Robert Earnshaw / Michael Dickinson
2/1
1982
Rathgorman
Kevin Whyte / Michael Dickinson
100/30
1981
Drumgora
Frank Berry / Arthur Moore
25/1
1980
Another Dolly*
Sam Morshead / Fred Rimell
33/1
1979
Hilly Way
Ted Walsh / Peter McCreery
7/1
1978
Hilly Way
Tommy Carmody / Peter McCreery
7/1
1977
Skymas
Mouse Morris /  Brian Lusk
7/2
1976
Skymas
Mouse Morris /  Brian Lusk
8/1
1975
Lough Inagh
Sean Barker / Jim Dreaper
100/30
1974
Royal Relief
Bill Smith / Edward Courage
6/1
1973
Inkslinger
Tommy Carberry / Dan Moore
6/1
1972
Royal Relief
Bill Smith / Edward Courage
15/8
1971
Crisp
Paul Kelleway / Fred Winter
3/1
1970
Straight Fort
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
7/4f
1969
Muir
Ben Hannon / Tom Dreaper
15/2
1968
Drinny's Double
Frank Nash / Bob Turnell
6/1
1967
Drinny's Double
Frank Nash / Bob Turnell
7/2
1966
Flyingbolt
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
1/5f
1965
Dunkirk
Dave Dick / Peter Cazalet
8/1
1964
Ben Stack
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
2/1
1963
Sandy Abbot
Stan Mellor / George Owen
5/1
1962
Piperton
Dave Dick / Archie Thomlinson
100/6
1961
Fortria
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
2/5f
1960
Fortria
Pat Taaffe / Tom Dreaper
15/8f
1959
Quita Que
Bunny Cox / Dan Moore
4/9f
All Queen Mother Champion Chase winners prior to 2000

* Another Dolly finished second to Chinrullah, who was subsequently disqualified after failing a post-race urine test