3.05 Cheltenham: Queen Mother Champion Chase
The big race of Day 2 is the Champion Chase over a trip of 2 miles. This year we have a field of 10 including the short priced favourite Chacun Pour Soi who was a late withdrawal 12 months ago. He’s won 3 from 3 this year & the only horse to beat him in a chase in the UK has been Gold Cup contender A Plus Tard. He’s the most likely winner of this with the main worries being Willie Mullins’ record in the race & the fact the horse has never raced at the Festival before. At current odds of 4/5, he’s worth taking on.
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Of the challengers, let’s start with a couple of older horses. Last year’s winner Politologue has a chance of following up but that was a weak renewal with Chacun Pour Soi out & long odds on favourite Defi Du Seuil massively underperformed. That said, the winner jumped well & couldn’t have done it any better. Sceau Royal was last home that day & has had a busy campaign so is easily passed over here.
Cilaos Emery is another Mullins runner & whilst he can put in a good run, he’s a bit too inconsistent & a Mullins second string in a Championship race wouldn’t be the most obvious starting point in finding the winner. First Flow has gone from strength to strength, culminating in a breathtaking round of jumping when winning the Clarence House at Ascot but he probably needs it softer & this is only his second trip to Cheltenham, having been pulled up on his only try here. Nube Negra is a classy sort & cannot be easily ignored but is another where there must be question marks about the track so, at fairly skinny odds, is overlooked.
3 of this field ran in last season’s Arkle & it’s worth noting that 11 of the last 18 winners were second season chasers. The favourite that day was Notebook after he’d won 4 on the spin but he disappointed finishing last of the 6 finishers. This season he’s been beaten twice by Chacun Pour Soi & has it to prove, whilst Rouge Vif was 3rd that day but has it all to do on this season’s form.
Instead, we’re backing the winner of the Arkle from last year in Put The Kettle On to become the first mare to win this race & give Henry De Bromhead his second win in the Championship races after Honeysuckle’s Champion Hurdle domination. Arkle winners have an excellent record in this race with 6 of the last 10 to have won here & a further 3 to finish 2nd. She’s a winner of 6 of her 8 chase starts & is 3 from 3 at the track which is a huge positive. In fact, on her reappearance she won the Grade 2 Cheltenham Chase in game fashion & on her only start since was 3rd behind Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown over Christmas. Ridden by Sean Flanagan that day, she plugged on but Coleman is back on board (been on top for all 3 wins here) & back at her favourite track, she must go close. Whether Chacun Pour Soi is a class apart, only time will tell so she’s worth supporting in the market without the favourite.
WON – Back Put The Kettle On (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
Back her here:
WON – Back Put The Kettle On in the ‘without Chacun Pour Soi’ market for a 1/10 stake at 5.50 with BetVictor
Back her here: