The race is open to five-year-old and above racehorses and features 12 fences.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of a handful of national hunt races that can turn racehorses into national celebrities, with the likes of Moscow Flyer and Master Minded rising to prominence after achieving multiple wins in the race .
Queen Mother Champion Chase trends
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is amongst those Cheltenham Festival races which routinely produce under-priced favourites due to the weight of public attention on it. Favourites routinely finish outside the places, and even horses priced under Evens tend to be hit or miss prospects.
The Clarence House Chase is the most important trial race for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Three of the last five Champion Chase winners won the Clarence House Chase earlier the same season, and one took second place. The only horse who defies this trend did so because he was competing in an Irish Grade 2 chase instead.
The Arkle Challenge Trophy is also an important proving ground for the Champion Chase. Three of the last five champions won the Arkle before taking the Champion Chase. Both of the horses who won both the Arkle and the Clarence House Chase ahead of the Queen Mother Champion Chase went on to take the title.
2016 Queen Mother Champion Chase field
The Queen Mother Champion Chase field for 2016 includes no fewer than three previous champions, including defending champion Dodging Bullets.
However, its Champion Chase newcomer, Un De Sceaux who takes top billing in the antepost markets. Given recent race trends he appears to be a worthy favourite, entering the Champion Chase as the reigning Arkle Challenge Trophy and Clarence House Chase champion. He does have the tendency to take the odd tumble – something to keep in mind if you want to take his under Evens price.
Sprinter Sacre hasn’t won at the Cheltenham Festival since an injury at Kempton brought his 2013 winning streak to an end. The former Champion Chase winner has been run back into form in 2015, however, and heads to Cheltenham on the back of two wins in Grade 2s. Antepost markets have him priced a touch over 4/1, which makes him a handy each-way option.
Sire De Grugy is unlikely to win the Champion Chase again. However, given the fact that he did manage to take the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown this season – along with two subsequent second places in Grade 2s – he’s hard to dismiss as an each-way or place prospect. He’s trading as high as 14/1, which makes him a more valuable pick than the favourite even if he only places on an each-way bet.