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Cheltenham Festival

2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase Runners Guide: Altior And Min Set For Epic Battle In Day Two Feature At Cheltenham Festival

Tuesday 12th March 2019
Altior is a red-hot favourite to retain his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown
Altior is a red-hot favourite to retain his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown

A field of nine will head to post for the 2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase and all eyes will be on reigning champion Altior, who is a red-hot favourite to retain his two-mile Championship crown, but the unbeaten chaser will have the small matter of beating Min, who has been in electric form this season for Willie Mullins and should put up a bold bid for victory.

We take an in-depth look at all nine runners and predict our finishing order for the 3:30pm Championship race, which is the showpiece race on Wednesday afternoon.

No.1 Altior - Jockey - Nico de Boinville - Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Form This Season: 111

What a way to start our runners guide by looking at one of the finest chasers of his generation and Altior is entitled to be a clear odds-on favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.  Three wins at the last three Cheltenham Festivals has launched him into greatness and he has been at his superb best again this season with three wins from his three starts.  A fairly workmanlike victory over Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek Chase was followed by facile wins in the Desert Orchid Chase and Clarence House Chase, so he heads to Cheltenham on top form.  Unbeaten in 17 starts over hurdles and fences, Altior will be a tough nut to crack, but could the rain that has hit Cheltenham over the last few days scupper his chances? 

No.2 Castlegrace Paddy - Davy Russell - Pat Fahy

Form: 14F

A Grade 2 winner on his first start of the season, Castlegrace Paddy has struggled to build on that victory and has failed to enter the winner's enclosure since. Fourth behind Simply Ned in Grade 1 company, Pat Fahy's charge was then a faller in top-class company last time out, so he will need to bounce back from that tumble, and even if he is able to put in a clear round at Cheltenham he will need a few things to happen to other rivals to contest the finish

No.3 God's Own - Paddy Brennan - Tom George

Form: 12

An 18-length third in last year's Champion Chase, God's Own will be making his fifth appearance at the Cheltenham Festival and Tom George's raider is still bidding for a first victory.  A superb winner of the Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance at Exeter, he then went on to finish second in the Peterborough Chase to continue his good run of form.  Wet conditions could significantly hinder his chances on Wednesday, and while he has run well at Prestbury Park, it's hard to see him putting any pressure on the market leaders.

No.4 Hell's Kitchen - Barry Geraghty - Harry Fry

Form: 71

A lightly-raced eight-year-old, Hell's Kitchen is another outsider looking to dethrone Altior from his perch.  Well beaten at Aintree on his first start of the season, Harry Fry's charge then picked up a win at Ascot, but that was only in handicap company, so a lot more is needed now in Grade 1 Championship company and on his first visit to Cheltenham could struggle.

No.5 Min - Ruby Walsh - Willie Mullins

Form:11

Min has ran at two previous Cheltenham Festivals and on both occasions has been beaten by Altior by seven lengths.  Willie Mullins' charge chased home Altior in the 2016 Supreme Novices' Hurdle, while he was a gallant runner-up last season in the Champion Chase.  However, with a brace of Grade 1 victories in Ireland this season, Min is in the form of his life and he could get a lot closer to Altior on Wednesday.  Ruby Walsh will need to adopt patient tactics on the Closutton inmate, but having hit the front too early last year he could be a significant thorn in Altior's side, and could we really see an upset?

No.6 Ordinary World - Rachael Blackmore - Henry de Bromhead

Form:4232

The only runner in the field to have not tasted victory this season, Ordinary World is likely to be the outsider of the field and he will need a monster career best to figure in the places.  Beaten six lengths by Min on his last start, Ordinary World finished 35 lengths behind Altior in last year's Champion Chase, so on all form it's hard to make a case for him here.

No.7 Politologue - Harry Cobden - Paul Nicholls

Form: 144

Beaten 23 lengths in last season's Champion Chase, Politologue has been tried over further distances than two miles this season, but Paul Nicholls has elected to drop him back in trip for this year's race.  A Grade 2 winner at Ascot on his first start, he was then a decent fourth in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, but he was well beaten by stablemate Cyrname at Ascot last time out and will need to unearth some improvement to play a role here.

No.8 Saint Calvados - Gavin Sheehan - Harry Whittington

Form: 133

An eye-catching front-runner that kicked off this season with a win at Naas, Saint Calvados could be the pacesetter in this year's contest, but he has struggled to build on that comeback win.  A well beaten third by Altior in the Tingle Creek, Saint Calvados was then beaten by Min in Ireland, so he has form to find with Wednesday's rivals, and having disappointed in the Arkle last year the Harry Whittington-trained raider has a tough task.

No.9 Sceau Royal - Daryl Jacob - Alan King

Form: 142

A smart novice chaser, Sceau Royal has struggled to build on that novice campaign in the all-age category and has failed to kick on from a decent win in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November.  Last of four in the Tingle Creek Chase, Sceau Royal was then defeated over hurdles on his last start, so it's hard to fancy him landing a significant blow in this renewal.

Queen Mother Champion Chase Prediction..

  1. Min
  2. Altior
  3. Castlegrace Paddy

2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase Odds

Altior Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson 2/5 2/5 4/9 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 4/9 2/5
Min R Walsh / W P Mullins 10/3 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 100/30 7/2
Sceau Royal D A Jacob / A King 20 16 20 20 20 18 20 20 20
Politologue Harry Cobden / P F Nicholls 22 20 22 22 22 22 20 20 22
Castlegrace Paddy D N Russell / P A Fahy 25 28 28 28 28 28 22 28 28
Gods Own P J Brennan / T R George 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33
Hells Kitchen B J Geraghty / H Fry 40 28 40 28 40 33 28 33 28
Saint Calvados G Sheehan / H Whittington 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
Ordinary World Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Each Way Terms 3
1/5
3
1/5
- 3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5

2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase Odds

BEST ODDS
1. Altior Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson
4/9
FREE BET ODDS
4/9
2/5
2/5
2/5
2/5
2/5
2/5
2/5
2. Min R Walsh / W P Mullins
7/2
FREE BET ODDS
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
10/3
3. Sceau Royal D A Jacob / A King
20
FREE BET ODDS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
18
16
4. Politologue Harry Cobden / P F Nicholls
22
FREE BET ODDS
22
22
22
22
22
22
20
20
20
5. Castlegrace Paddy D N Russell / P A Fahy
28
FREE BET ODDS
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
25
22
6. Gods Own P J Brennan / T R George
33
FREE BET ODDS
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
7. Hells Kitchen B J Geraghty / H Fry
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
40
40
33
33
28
28
28
28
8. Saint Calvados G Sheehan / H Whittington
40
FREE BET ODDS
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
9. Ordinary World Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead
50
FREE BET ODDS
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 13:27 . Odds are subject to change.
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