Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of four Championship races held at the Cheltenham Festival, taking place on Wednesday. March 13 at 3.30. The two-mile race has a rich history and is the pinnacle race on Ladies’ Day of the festival. Winners in previous renewals include the great Master Minded, Big Zeb and the outstanding Sprinter Sacre.

Sprinter Sacre returning from injury to win the 2016 Champion Chase, three years since his last victory, was one of the greatest moments in Cheltenham Festival history.

Length of race – The race is run over 2m.
Where to watch – RTV and ITV
When to watch – Wednesday 13 March at 3.30pm.
Prize money – Last year’s race was worth £400,000.
Course – The race is ran on the Old course at Cheltenham
Race type – The Champion Chase is a Grade 1 contest open to five-year-old horses and older.
Weights – All horses, bar mares, carry 11st 10lb. Mares get a 7lb allowance as they do in every other Grade 1.
Ages – Horses aged five and older are eligible.
Sponsor – Betway have sponsored the Champion Chase since 2015.

Past 10 winners:


Year Horse Previous form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2018 Altior 1111-1 8 EvensF Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2017 Special Tiara 3-6315 10 11-1 Henry de Bromhead Noel Fehily
2016 Sprinter Sacre 2P2-11 10 5-1 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2015 Dodging Bullets 45-311 7 9-2 Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
2014 Sire de Grugy 12111 8 11-4F Gary Moore Jamie Moore
2013 Sprinter Sacre 111-11 7 1-4F Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2012 Finian’s Rainbow 121-12 9 4-1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2011 Sizing Europe 13-223 9 10-1 Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2010 Big Zeb 1-2141 9 10-1 Colm Murphy Barry Geraghty
2009 Master Minded 112-11 6 4-11F Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh


Race stats

  • Won over at least 2m1f, 10/10
  • At least seven runs over fences, 10/10
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 170, 10/10
  • No more than 9lb off RPR top-rated, 9/10
  • Grade 1 chase winner, 9/10
  • No older than nine, 8/10
  • Won Graded chase last time out, 7/10

Other factors

  • Five winners had previously won at the festival
  • In the past ten years 33 French-breds have run, yielding four wins, four seconds and four thirds
  • Pat Taaffe won the race on five occasions with Fortria (1960, 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966) and Straight Fort (1970). Barry Geraghty shares the jockey record in the race with Taafe having won on Moscow Flyer (2003, 2005), Big Zeb (2010), Finian’s Rainbow (2012) and Sprinter Sacre (2013).
  • Tom Dreaper is the top trainer in the history of the Champion Chase with six winners: Fortria (1960, 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969) and Straight Fort (1970).

Key Trials

Ascot’s Grade 1 Clarence House Chase is one of the leading trials for the Champion Chase. In recent years, Master Minded (2009), Sprinter Sacre (2013), Sire de Grugy (2014) and Dodging Bullets (2015) all won at Ascot before winning at the Cheltenham Festival.
Newbury’s Game Spirit Chase is another key trial for the Festival. Run in February, the Grade 2 contest was won by Altior who subsequently took the Champion Chase crown. Other trials earlier in the season include Kempton’s Desert Orchid Chase and Sandown’s Tingle Creek.
In Ireland, the Paddy’s Reward Club “Sugar Paddy” Chase, formerly known as the Dial-A-Bet chase, is a key trial staged in December. The John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase is also an important race in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival held earlier in the season, while the Dublin Chase is a relatively new addition the two-mile pattern.

What happened last year?

In one of the races of the festival, Altior produced a typically flamboyant turn of foot to quicken away from Min on the run-in for an outstanding seven length win. View the 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase race result and replay here.

Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?

Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.

Champion Chase Tip

Altior has looked as good as ever this season and is very much the one to beat as he bids to win at the Cheltenham Festival for the fourth successive season. He’s never had to face last year’s Arkle winner Footpad, however, and the young pretender could be a touch overpriced at around 8-1, especially as such odds open an each-way avenue. Castlegrace Paddy may be able to come from off the pace and sneak a place at a big price.
(Ben Hutton)

1. Altior, 2. Footpad, 3. Castlegrace Paddy

View the racecard and place your bets here.