15:30 Cheltenham Wed 13 March 2019
- Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1)
- 1m 7f 199y, Soft (Good to Soft in places)
- 9 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Bang up there with the very best 2m chasers of all time; a quite staggering 12-12 over fences; already a three-time Cheltenham Festival winner (2016 Supreme Novices', 2017 Arkle, 2018 Champion Chase); rates as nigh impossible to oppose.
Lightly-raced chaser who posted a best career effort when winning the 2m Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase by 16L at Cork (soft) in December; twice held in Grade 1 company since, including when let down by his jumping at Leopardstown (fell early).
A flag-bearer for Tom George, his record in this race reads 4,5,3 (competed in both Sprinter Sacre & Altior eras); solid as usual so far this season winning the Haldon Gold Cup (Exeter) and finishing second to Charbel in the 2m4f Peterborough Chase.
Yet to win over the minimum trip and hasn't raced over 2m since December 2017; evidently has had issues but was suited by front-running tactics when plundering a 2m3f Class 2 handicap at Ascot in December; faces a stiff task at these weights.
Has twice finished runner-up to Altior at the Cheltenham Festival, including when beaten 7L in this race in 2018; a Grade 1 winner on both starts so far this season, most latterly over 2m1f at Leopardstown (good); the forecast option.
Sole success over fences (1-14) came in a 2m Beginners' Chase at Fairyhouse in October 2016; fifth of nine to Altior in this race in 2018 (beaten 35L) he's shown definite improvement of late, albeit looks safely held by all of the main protagonists.
On the up and considered as a realistic contender in this race 12-months ago, but could only finish a distant fourth to Altior (beaten 23L); beat Min by a neck in the 2m4f Melling Chase at Aintree a few weeks later and that's more his ideal trip.
Regarded as the new kid on the block in this division following an impressive Grade 3 win at Naas in November. However, is yet to deliver at the top table and it'll be a surprise if he reverses form with Altior & Min; cheekpieces on.
A five-time winner over fences, the highlight of which came when beating Simply Ned by just over 2L in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase (good); well beaten by Altior and Saint Calvados in the Tingle Creek at Sandown in December (on soft).
Last Year's Winner
|T: N J HendersonJ: Nico de Boinville|
Altior (4/11), Min (7/2), Politologue (11/1), Sceau Royal (16/1), God's Own (16/1), Hell's Kitchen (25/1), Castlegrace Paddy (25/1), Saint Calvados (25/1), Ordinary World (33/1)
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