Champion Chase Tips - 3:30pm Cheltenham

2020 Queen Mother Champion Chase Preview

The highlight on day two of the Cheltenham Festival is the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the race has been robbed of a terrific three-way battle with the late withdrawal of Altior

Now a 10 year-old Altior has not had his usual smooth build up to this year’s contest and in fact suffered his first ever defeat over obstacles when losing out to Cyrname at Ascot in November. He has minor niggles all season and was finally ruled out yesterday.

Whilst Altior has been having his problems one horse in particular has shot to the forefront of the Champion Chase picture. Last year’s JLT Chase winner Defi Du Seuil has rattled up a three-timer since switching back to the minimum trip.

The 7yo kicked off by winning the Grade 2 Shloer Chase over this C/D. He then stepped up a gear when landing the Tingle Creek in a thrilling battle with Un De Sceaux. That race at Sandown has produced many Champion Chase winners down the years and I think that was the point that trainer Philip Hobbs started to think of the horse as a proper two-miler.

Defi Du Seuil confirmed the form with Un De Sceaux next time out when taking the Clarence House Chase at Ascot and although all those connected with the horse were keeping their options open it was pretty obvious they had to go for the Champion Chase over the alternative which was going over the longer distance and the Ryanair Chase.

This race is the one that is missing from the Willie Mullins CV and he has a couple of possibilities this time round and the main hope must be with the lightly raced 8yo Chacun Pour Soi.

Former French horse, he won on his Irish debut last March at Naas where he bolted up by 31 lengths, he then went straight to the Punchestown Festival and beat Defi Du Seuil in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase. He was mighty impressive considering it was only his third career start over fences.

He reappeared over Christmas at Leopardstown and was slightly disappointing when losing out to A Plus Tard by 3 ¾ lengths. The winner is a decent horse but I think they fancied Chacun Pour Soi to win so it was a shade disappointing at the time.

He bounced back in no uncertain terms at the Dublin Festival where he beat stablemate Min comfortably, he lines up here with a big chance.

Paul Nicholls has never been afraid of throwing a horse in at the deep end and he saddles Dynamite Dollars who is having only his second run after a lay off. The 7yo won the Grade 1 Henry VII Chase at Sandown as a novice but unfortunatley had to miss a full year with an injury.

He came back last month with a good effort in the Game Spirit chase where he was third behind Altior, connections were suitably pleased with that and takes his place in the line up.

Nicholls has won this race five times and did well with Politologue last year to finish second, he just lacks that bit of class and looks sure to find one or two too good this time round.

Of the others at bigger prices we have the likes of Sceau Royal who ran a cracker at a big price in this race last year. He actually led at the last before being outpointed by both Altior and Politologue. He wants really good ground to show his best and trainer Alan King will have him spot on for this. Bun Doran is a decent handicapper and will find this too hot to handle.

A late injury to Chacun Pour Soi has left the door wide open for Defi Du Seuil to take this valuable prize. Its a shame as it looked like the best race of the week at one time and now we have lost two of the top three two mile chasers in the space of a couple of day. Dynamite Dollars could be the one for the forecast.

Punters Lounge Tip: Defi Du Seuil 2/5 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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Champion Chase Trends
Champion Chase Previous Winners
Year WinnerAge JockeyTrainerSP
2019Altior9Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson4/11
2018Altior8Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson1/1
2017Special Tiara10Noel FehilyHenry De Bromhead11/1
2016Sprinter Sacre10Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson5/1
2015Dodging Bullets7Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls4/1
2014Sire de Grugy8Jamie MooreGary Moore11/4
2013Sprinter Sacre7Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson1/4
2012Finian's Rainbow9Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson4/1
2011Sizing Europe9Andrew LynchHenry de Bromhead10/1
2010Big Zeb9Barry GeraghtyColm Murphy10/1
2009Master Minded6Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls4/11

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