Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase Betting Tips & Odds 2018
15.30 The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the second of the four Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival 2018 and one of the most exciting two mile chases anywhere, certainly the most renowned one.
Last year, Special Tiara was a bit of a surprise winner when Douvan failed to fire. In 2018, a lot will depend on whether Altior and Douvan actually make it to the Festival, having been sidelined so far this season.
Those are the two big names, but several other Champion Chase contenders have made their case known, for the feature Grade 1 event on Cheltenham Ladies Day.
Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase Betting Tip: Altior should hack up
The feature race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the two-mile speed test for jumpers.
It’s a race where repeat winners are commonplace albeit a couple of these have achieved their second victory a year or two after their first: Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005) and Sprinter Sacre (2013 & 2016) for example.
The great winners include Barnbrook Again, Viking Flagship, Master Minded and the aforementioned Moscow Flyer and Sprinter Sacre.
Nothing Special with Tiara this time
The big question is who will etch their name on the Champion Chase trophy in 2018.
Sadly last year’s surprise winner, Special Tiara does not enter into calculations. His victory was secured against a modest field in a race where the 2/9 (1.44) favourite, Douvan, finished unplaced and lame. Three comprehensive defeats since and advancing years means this one is readily omitted.
Douvan’s defeat in last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase represents his first loss over the big obstacles in ten starts. And two previous visits to the Cheltenham Festival yielded victories in the Supreme Novice Hurdle (2015) and the Arkle Steeplechase in 2016.
Clearly the Irish trained horse has class in abundance but he has not set foot on a racecourse in almost a year, indeed when he does line-up for the Champion Chase it will represent his first competitive action in 12 months.
The same owner/trainer combination of Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci also have Min entered in the two-mile Champion Chase and while he has not achieved as much as Douvan, he will arrive at Cheltenham as a fit horse with no question marks hanging over him. He won the Grade 2 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown by 12 lengths when last seen in action (February 3rd).
Unbeaten Altior for repeat win?
But both Douvan and Min have an enormous obstacle in their way – namely Altior who heads the home defence for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Remarkably, like Douvan, the eight year-old Altior has won both the Supreme Novice Hurdle (spanking Min by seven lengths in 2016) and the Arkle Steeplechase at the Festival.
Unlike Douvan and Min, Altior remains unbeaten having scored in all 12 of his career starts over hurdles and chase fences. Concerns that wind surgery may have affected his ability were dispelled when he comfortably brushed aside two talented rivals on his seasonal bow at Newbury at the start of February. In fact the runner-up there, Politologue, is fourth favourite for the Queen Mother and trading at single figures.
No question if Douvan arrives at Cheltenham at his very best, the Queen Mother Champion Chase could be the race of the Festival and could be a talking point for years to come. But that is a big ‘If’ and the memory of last year’s defeat remains indelible.
Cheltenham odds of 8/11 (1.73) may not be a ‘get rich quick’ price about the superstar Altior but he is my banker Cheltenham betting pick for the Festival and one to put into your multiple bets.
For those that are a little more ambitious, I’d recommend playing him in some forecasts with a few outsiders. Most definitely excluding Min who may have an aversion to uphill finishes.
Recommended Queen Mother Champion Chase Bet:
Altior to win at 8/11 (1.73) with Sun Bets
Douvan looks a remote hope, but if Altior doesn’t make it to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, the Paul Nicholls trained Politologue is the obvious alternative.
This very talented grey has progressed so well this season, winning the Grade 1 Tingle Creek in good style from Fox Norton. He followed up in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park over Christmas and in many ways has a similar profile to Nicholls’ other recent winner, Dodging Bullets.
Willie Mullins could also run the classy but inconsistent Min, while Great Field and Special Tiara appeal as horses at double figure betting odds who could sneak into the picture.
Altior is rumoured to be recovering well though and if he manages to get to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival in top form, he is the best two mile chaser around and will be very hard to oppose.
Latest Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Odds
- Altior – 6/4
- Politologue – 4/1
- Min – 5/1
- Yorkhill – 6/1
- Fox Norton – 9/1
- Great Field – 14/1
- Special Tiara – 20/1
- Forest Bihan – 33/1
- Ar Mad – 40/1
- Camping Ground – 50/1
2017 CHAMPION CHASE WINNER – SPECIAL TIARA 16/1
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