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Champion Chase

15:30 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-16

Winner: £226672

Runners: 7

Going: Soft

No. of hurdles: 13

Distance: 1m7f199y

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The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of four championship races held at the Cheltenham Festival and is the feature race on day two of the meeting. It is the most prestigious race for two-mile chasers in the jumps season and has been landed by greats of the division such as Viking Flagship, Moscow Flyer, Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and Altior.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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6(0)
/124-2
silk
Politologue

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J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
11
11-10
165
174
His form figures in this contest (2018-2020) read 421 but everything dropped right on the last attempt as the big guns Altior and Chacun Pour Soi were late absentees, odds-on Defi Du Seuil failed to sparkle and he totally bossed a small field; unlikely to repeat the dose now aged 11 and he was no match for Nube Negra in the Shloer when last seen.
1(0)
13-151
silk
Chacun Pour Soi

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J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
10
11-10
176
183
Six-time Grade 1 winner in Ireland, including the last three runnings of the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown (latest by 12l); has failed to shine in his two British starts, admittedly with an excuse (came back very sore behind) in this season's Tingle Creek but he just didn't quite get up the hill in this race 12 months ago (below-par third); a massive contender if belatedly transferring his Irish form to English soil.
NR(0)
12-314
silk
Nube Negra

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T: Dan Skelton
8
11-10
168
176
Close second in this contest 12 months ago, looking a shade unlucky having stumbled after the final fence then been forced to switch right (finished well); gained compensation with a comfortable success in the Shloer back here in November, then the Tingle Creek possibly came too soon as he seems ideally suited by being fresh; should go well on return from a break and has good each-way claims.
2(0)
11-112
silk
Energumene

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J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
8
11-10
175
183
Highly progressive chaser and an electric front-runner; for example, he scored easily at Punchestown (Grade 1 novice) and Cork (Grade 2) last year despite forcing or helping to force a strong gallop; made a bold bid in his memorable clash with Shishkin over the extended 2m at Ascot in January and looked the likely winner turning for home, only to be collared near the line; based on those visuals, he holds good chance of turning the tables over this slightly shorter trip; greatly respected.
3(0)
F-P161
silk
Envoi Allen

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J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
8
11-10
161
170
Hugely promising for a good while but lost his unbeaten record by falling at this meeting last year, when bidding for a third Cheltenham Festival success, and there have been a couple of other blemishes since; got back on the Grade 1 scoresheet at Leopardstown (2m1f) when last seen and, while that was a weak race for the level, he's still unexposed at this sort of distance over fences; his formerly exciting profile is not forgotten either; had wind surgery since last run and is not dismissed back on this big stage.
7(0)
111-11
silk
Shishkin

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J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
8
11-10
177
185
Hugely talented and is very much in the mould of former star stablemates Sprinter Sacre and Altior, who were dual Champion Chase victors; emulated those top horses by winning last season's Arkle in great style, taking his Cheltenham Festival record to 2-2; impressive in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on reappearance, then collared Energumene close home in a pulsating showdown for the Clarence House at Ascot where he looked set to come off second best rounding the home turn, then eventually kicked in the turbo; now 7-7 as a chaser, he has all the right credentials and is the one to beat.
8(0)
314-35
silk
Put The Kettle On

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J: Aidan Coleman
T: Henry De Bromhead
8
11-3
158
173
Game mare who is 4-5 at Cheltenham, notably with wins in the 2020 Arkle and this race last year; has looked badly out of sorts in last three appearances, spoiling her course record in the Shloer on penultimate start (favourite, behind Nube Negra and Politologue); now goes in first-time headgear; her kettle has been totally off the boil, but it may be switched back on today given her Festival record.
4(0)
2-2911
silk
Funambule Sivola

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J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
7
11-10
159
168
Has form figures of 11211211 at about 2m over fences, most recently making all for a cosy win in the Game Spirit at Newbury but he doesn't need to lead; now faces the stiffest assignment of his career but his solid and progressive profile counts for a lot; could go well.

RACING POST TIP

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silk
Shishkin
In theory, the captivating rematch between SHISHKIN and Energumene could go the latter's way over this slightly shorter trip, considering how the Clarence House panned out. However, there are other factors to bear in mind, such as the possibility of a significant pace collapse (Energumene may not have things completely his own way this time) and the fact that dual Festival winner Shishkin is guaranteed to come home strongly up the hill, whereas his Irish rival is having a first taste of Cheltenham. While the very talented Energumene could still make a bold bid and potentially turn the tables, Shishkin is taken to grab glory in the final stages and maintain his unbeaten chase record. Chacun Pour Soi is roughly on a par with stablemate Energumene based on Irish form but he still has something to prove on British soil, so Nube Negra is the suggested third choice and each-way angle.

Verdict

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CHAMPION CHASE PREVIOUS WINNERS

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CHAMPION CHASE KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - CHAMPION CHASE 2021

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