The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the highlight on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival and looks like being one of the most exciting races of the week. Defi Du Seuil is tipped to deny Altior a third consecutive victory in the race. Dynamite Dollars is our best each-way advice in a top class renewal which also features smart Irish chaser Chacun Pour Soi. Here is our detailed analysis of the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting.
Altior has dominated the two-mile chasing division for the past two seasons but faces his strongest ever challenge this year. His main market rival is Defi Du Seuil, the winner of all three starts this season. By far his most impressive victory came in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January, often an excellent guide to the Champion Chase.
Defi Du Seuil was a top class hurdler, winning the 2017 Triumph Hurdle in an unbeaten juvenile campaign of seven races. Injury prevented him from being tested in Champion Hurdle class and trainer Philip Hobbs sent him chasing in 2018-2019. He defeated Lostintranslation in the JLT Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles before finishing second at Punchestown.
A reappearance victory over Politologue at Cheltenham in November was followed by a neck success over Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. He extended that margin to nearly 3 lengths when sprinting clear of the same rival at Ascot. He has an exceptional turn of foot for a chaser and Barry Geraghty will be keen to deliver his challenge as late as possible in the Champion Chase. He rates our main selection at 9-4 with Ladbrokes.
Sadly, Altior is no longer running in this event.
Nicky Henderson had committed Altior to running over longer distances this season but everything changed after his defeat at Ascot in November. The Lambourn trainer now concedes that he was “crazy” to run Altior over two miles five furlongs in very soft ground after a lay-off of 210 days. He clashed with course specialist Cyrname and suffered his first defeat in 20 races.
That defeat caused a serious re-think and plans to run in the King George VI Chase over three miles were abandoned. Plan B was a return to two miles and target a third Champion Chase and fifth successive Cheltenham Festival victory. Altior reappeared at Newbury in February, comfortably landing the odds to beat Sceau Royal and Dynamite Dollars.
Altior has a habit of hitting a flat spot in his races, giving the impression that he will do only what is necessary to finish in front. That was certainly evident in this race last year when he rallied after being briefly headed at the final fence. His undoubted class means he is the obvious danger at odds of 2-1 with Ladbrokes.
Chacun Pour Soi is the big hope of Ireland and is not easily passed over. He beat Defi Du Seuil comprehensively in May and won the Grade 1 Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. He had to work hard that day before pulling away from stable companion Min. He will be tackling Cheltenham’s fences for the first time and there isn’t a great deal of value left at around 11-4.
Paul Nicholls has trained the winner five times and believes that Dynamite Dollars has the class to feature here. He would probably have started favourite for last year’s Arkle but for injury and made a pleasing return when third to Altior at Newbury. That was his first run for over a year and he could easily improve several pounds on that performance. Shock results are rare in this race but there could be some each-way value in Dynamite Dollars at the 20-1 offered by Bet365.