Mod to rock Champion field

  • By: Mark Crellin
  • Last Updated: March 11 2014, 18:23 GMT

Our Mark Crellin provides a horse-by-horse guide to Wednesday's Bet Victor Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Module: The value selection in the Champion Chase
Module: The value selection in the Champion Chase


Trainer: Willie Mullins

Jockey: Ruby Walsh

Brilliant performer at home in Ireland and has won three out of four this season, romping to a 14-length victory in a Grade 2 event at Punchestown last time.

However, in two previous Festival visits he was fourth (beaten 27 lengths) in 2010 and then pulled-up when fancied in last year's Arkle. Hard to recommend at a short price, without solid Cheltenham form to his name. Rating 4/10


Trainer: Mouse Morris

Jockey: David Casey

Bits and pieces of decent form but has not actually won a race since November 2012, which is not ideal going into a race as prestigious as this.

Did perform well to be second in last year's Arkle but most of the runners were below-par in an odd renewal of that race and can't be fancied here at a single-figure price. Rating 3/10


Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Nicky Henderson won this race last year with the brilliant Sprinter Sacre and landed the Arkle with Simonsig but neither can run here because of injury. Surely, the great trainer can't win the race regardless?

He just might, because Captain Conan has beaten Sire De Grugy before over this very course and distance. However, that was back in November 2012 and his supporters are taking a bit on trust as he was a well-held third in the Tingle Creek on his only run this season. Rating 7/10


Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Noel Fehily

First, second and third in three outings at Cheltenham over hurdles and now working his way through the ranks as a chaser.

Could not handle the best novices over fences last season but much better this time around and did well to win a Grade 1 event at Sandown last time.

Still a novice but pretty battle-hardened and fascinating that trainer Paul Nicholls lets him take his chance here. Upwardly mobile and should go well. Rating 8/10


Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: AP McCoy

Beat favourite Sire De Grugy here in November and, although he was getting a lot of weight, did the job in pretty good style.

Completely flopped in Ireland over Christmas though and, while the ground may have been softer than ideal, does not win enough (that Cheltenham victory was his only success in his last eight) to consider strongly here. Rating: 4/10


Trainer: Tom George

Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Something of an outsider in the betting market but has won four of his eight starts in Britain and did well to give weight and a beating to Dodging Bullets at Newbury last time.

Won over hurdles at this track, fourth in the Jewson here last year, and a strongly-run two miles on decent ground might be right up his alley so could just prove to be a cracking each-way bet. Rating 10/10


Trainer: Gary Moore

Jockey: Jamie Moore

Likely favourite here and thoroughly deserves that status after some fabulous displays over the past couple of seasons.

Beaten on both of his Cheltenham visits but second on both occasions and doubts about his effectiveness on the track may be overblown. Must be on the premises but chance there for all to see and a pretty short price for a horse with no Festival experience at all. Rating 8/10


Trainer: Henry De Bromhead

Jockey: Andrew Lynch

Fantastic performer over the years who won this in 2011 and has been second in the last two renewals.

Getting on a bit now and beaten over 10 lengths on his last two starts but better ground and a return to Cheltenham could bring about some sort of last hurrah. Rating 6/10


Trainer: Mick Channon

Jockey: Dominic Elsworth

Another one who has been around for a while and rarely runs a bad race, edging out Module to bag a nice payday at Exeter in November.

Usually finds one or two too good in the very best races though and still to win at Cheltenham, despite some very creditable efforts. Rating 5/10


Trainer: Henry De Bromhead

Jockey: Davy Russell

Good win at Aintree last spring but some dodgy efforts since and put in place by Kid Cassidy and Sire De Grugy here in the autumn. Rating 2/10


Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Jockey: Richard Johnson

Has run plenty of good races at Cheltenham in his time and defied top weight to win a handicap here last time.

That was over 2m5f and this trip may be a little sharp but hardy veteran who should out-run his outsider status. Rating 5/10

VERDICT: With the great Sprinter Sacre absent, the way seems clear for class act Sire De Grugy to bag his third Grade 1 success of the season.

However, he is only 2/1 and there are plenty of others with chances in an open race, including Module, who has long shown plenty of promise, stays this trip well, and looks like he may have been under-rated by the bookies.


2: Sire De Grugy

3: Hinterland

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