The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase this season is very much at the mercy of the brilliant Douvan, who is the outstanding chaser in the land and appears to be a near-on certainty to win.
At 1/3 though, the online bookmakers have his number and unless you’re very brave and possibly wealthy too, this price doesn’t appeal much for a Cheltenham free bet, for all it will be a real treat to see this horse perform once again.
With that in mind, the door is open for any number of classy horses to pick up the pieces and secure second or third place prize money.
The likes of Fox Norton, God’s Own and Special Tiara look the most likely to take up the immediate places behind Douvan in the Champion Chase market, but they don’t make masses of appeal at the prices and it might pay to have a look at something at a bigger price.
Former winner Sire De Grugy is a perfectly plausible each way selection and his fan base will surely stick with him to once again make his presence felt, but at 33/1 with the majority of bookmakers, the Philip Hobbs trained Garde La Victoire looks the bet to have.
Garde La Victoire fell in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham last year, but appears to have become a more consistent and reliable jumper this season and on top of that, has been excelling over the minimum trip of two miles.
Last time out he produced a career best at Sandown in a handicap from a mark of 154, carrying top weight against some solid horses.
This was a really classy effort from the eight-year-old and he produced a terrific RPR (Racing Post Rating) of 165 in the process. That puts him right in the mix for places in Day 2’s feature race and it seems more likely than not that he will remain over two miles and take his chance in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Cheltenham Festival Significant Stats: Queen Mother Champion Chase https://t.co/mUgxiYbXBT— Sig Horse Stats ? (@SigStatsHorses) March 8, 2017