Altior vs Min

Cheltenham Festival: Spotlight on the Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. The race is run over two miles and the equine speedsters jump a total of twelve fences.

There has been some superstar Champion Chasers since the turn of the century with Viking Flagship, Moscow Flyer, and Master Minded being particularly impressive double winners of the race.

Other famous names to have won the Queen Mother of late include Sizing Europe (2011) and of course Sprinter Sacre, who famously regained his crown in 2016 with a memorable performance for Nicky Henderson.

Nine runners go to post on Wednesday afternoon and here is a runner-by-runner guide to their chances:



Altior only returned to the track last month following a wind operation, putting in perfect round of jumping to beat Politilogue at Newbury in the Game Spirit Chase and taking his chasing record to seven from seven.

News came through on Monday that Altior has suffered a fitness scare in preparation for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham on Wednesday.

The eight-year-old is the hot favourite for the two-mile championship, but has developed lameness in a leg.

His trainer Nicky Henderson said he will have a better idea of whether or not he runs at Cheltenham on Tuesday morning.


Ar Mad

Ar Mad has not been seen since finishing third in the Tingle Creek at Sandown but he reportedly has been doing lots of work and his trainer Gary More is buoyed by the forecast of rain.

The eight-year-old, who has been dogged by injuries over the years, is a class animal on his day having beaten Bristol De Mai by ten lengths in the Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase back in 2015.

His third behind Politilogue was clearly a step in the right direction and Moore knows what it takes to win a Champion Chase.



Charbel will be bidding to atone for last year's ill-fortune when he fell at the second last fence in the Arkle Trophy when still setting the pace ahead of eventual winner Altior.

The suspicion is that he is just a little shy of top class, but his run in the Tingle Creek showed that he is capable of holding his own in this company.



Douvan has everything to prove as he has been out of action since disappointing in this race 12 months ago, when sent off the 2-9 favourite.

He is much better judged however on his superb record prior to that, including thrashing Sizing John in the 2016 Arkle and his demolition job in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 12 months earlier.

After playing the traditional pre-Cheltenham Festival game of “Mullins Bingo”, Ruby Walsh gave the big thumbs up for this race to be Douvan’s intended target on Monday morning.


God’s Own

Three-time Grade One winner God's Own will run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase for a third time, having finished a respective fourth and fifth in the last two renewals.

Tom George’s ten-year-old has been kept fresh for this race but the ground may be turning against him by the hour.



Min produced a performance of real quality in the Coral Dublin Chase last time out, seeing off Simply Ned by 12 lengths.

That turned out to be compensation for the Grade One Paddy’s Reward Club Chase at Leopardstown where Min was demoted by the stewards after interfering with Simply Ned.

Min has something to find with Altior on their running in the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle but chasing is a whole new ball game altogether and Henderson himself believes Min will be Altior’s greatest danger.


Ordinary World

Ordinary World was 15 lengths behind Altior when third in last year’s Arkle. He might have given Min a race had he not blundered and nearly unseated his rider at the final fence in the Dublin Chase.

Some pundits are saying he was flattered by that run but on the whole he has run creditably this term and his long odds may look too long if the ground becomes a leveller on Wednesday.



The seven-year-old has had a great season so far, winning the Haldon Gold Cup, Tingle Creek and Desert Orchid Chase, but found Altior a comfortable four lengths too good in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

Some uncharacteristic jumping errors led to his demise in that last race but with a clearer round this time around he is not without a shout.


Special Tiara

Henry de Bromhead's veteran performer is set for his fifth successive appearance in this race having finished sixth and third twice in his other attempts, before holding on narrowly for a famous victory 12 months ago.

The eleven-year-old has not matched that level of form so far this season and he was readily put to the sword by Min at Leopardstown last time.

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Bromhead will have him fit and ready for this but the weather looks like conspiring against him.



Altior will obviously be a tough nut to crack should he turn up but backers will be very wary now, especially if it materialises he still has any soreness in his foot come race time.

The stable making all the right noises over the last few days is that of Gary Moore and Ar Mad is our each-way selection here at 888sport.

Everything appears to be falling just right for Ar Mad and he will have his optimum conditions on Wednesday.

888sport suggests: Ar Mad (each way)


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*