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Champion Chase Tips - 3:30pm Cheltenham

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is a Grade One National Hunt steeplechase open to horses five years or older. It is run over two miles and the participants are invited to jump thirteen fences. Politilogue recorded a facile win here with Defi Du Seuil not running to anywhere near his best flopping on the day. It became a very one sided affair as he set about making all the running under Harry Skelton. He jumped flawlessly on that occasion but the competition is much tougher this year as he tries to retain his crown.

When it comes to the statistics, Nicky Henderson is the trainer you want to follow into this race usually. He has won an incredible five of the last ten renewals of this race including twice with Altior (2019 & 2018) and Sprinter Sacre (2016 & 2013) as well as with Finian’s Rainbow in 2012. Only one of the last ten renewals has gone to an Irish challenger and older horses between the ages of eight and ten tend to do well in this. All previous winners had experienced a previous run at Cheltenham and each of the last ten winners had won at least five previous chase wins.

Chacun Pour Soi has done nothing but impress since since joining Willie Mullins back in 2016. He has had seven runs in that time and has only been beaten once. That defeat came at the hands of A Plus Tard in December 2019 and since then there has been no looking back. Three Grade One wins have subsequently followed including the one he secured at Leopardstown in the Dublin Chase over an extended two miles. He travelled strongly throughout that race and gave each fence plenty of air. His form is absolutely rock solid but with no previous experience around Cheltenham one has to be concerned. He knows every inch of Leopardstown but this is a different track completely and the fences he jumps here will be the toughest he has ever faced. He is fully justified to be favourite on what he has done and shown this season, but there could well be better value lurking down the card.

Altior has been here and done this all before twice (as mentioned above). He is an incredible racehorse and this will have been his season long target set out by the maestro that is Nicky Henderson. He amassed a winning sequence of nineteen consecutive races and that is a phenomenal achievement. He missed this race due to injury last year but he has subsequently proven that he still given some hints that the old ability remains. He was very much in need of the run when making his seasonal reappearance at Kempton where ultimately he succumbed to a munch spritelier Nube Negra. He couldn’t match that rival for speed but he went down on his own sword that day and there could be one last hurrah in him.

Politilogue had a relatively easy time of it in this race last year but he still had to jump the fences. He did that with immaculate ease and the likeable grey was duly rewarded. He made his seasonal reappearance back in December when thumping stablemate Greaneteen by seven lengths in the Tingle Creek. He was though well and truly thrashed by First Flow in the Clarence House at Ascot the following month. As the reigning champion he is respected but I just have a feeling that this renewal is a lot more competitive and once headed he will likely struggle.

Nube Negra was in cruise control when beating Altior as mentioned above on his most recent start. That run came following nearly a year away from the track. He was third in the Fred Winter here behind Veneer Of Charm in 2018 and he finished in the midfield when contesting the Greatwood Hurdle here later that year. He tends to operate well at flat tracks such as Warwick and Kempton. At this track you are constantly climbing to the line and he might just struggle on that basis.

First Flow was another to upset the applecart recently when turning over Politilogue in the Clarence House Chase. He is a remarkably consistent sort and comes here in search of a seventh consecutive victory. His chances would be improved greatly should the heavens open. All ten of his career wins have come on soft or heavy ground and should he get that on the day he would have to enter calculations. He pulled up here in his only start over the course and distance when contesting the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle back in 2018 and that is the only negative blot on an otherwise near flawless CV.

Chacun Pour Soi may be many people’s banker of the week but his current odds are far too short given his lack of experience at the track and the recent record of Irish challengers in this race. Altior knows every blade of grass around here and Nicky Henderson’s record in the race is phenomenal. He will be fully primed to give this race his all and he looks a solid each way bet. If he returns to anywhere near what he was capable of, he may give the young pretender something to think about.

Punters Lounge Tip: Altior E/W @ 8/1 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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