Cheltenham Festival: Exploring the favourites for the Queen Mother Champion Chase

By on December 29, 2018

With Cheltenham Festival just under three months away, the ante post odds are beginning to take shape with punters keen to get the best prices possible.

The betting for the Queen Mother Champion Chase – the feature race on day two – is starting to gather pace and 2018 winner Altior is the clear favourite at 1.73 (8/11).

Here, we take a look through the likely contenders for the Champion Chase and assess their chances of winning.

Altior

After providing an almighty scare prior to this year’s festival, Altior is looking primed to win successive Champion Chases. The Irish thoroughbred suffered with breathing problems and had to go under the knife to correct the issue.

Altior recovered and clinched victory by four lengths from Min in the Chase, and has since go on to win the Tingle Creek Chase and the Celebration Chase, both at Sandown. It’s hard to look past Altior at this stage and the eight-year-old will be looking to cement his place amongst the all-time greats with a victory in 2019.

Footpad

Willie Mullins-trained Footpad is arguably Altior’s biggest threat to a second successive Champion Chase. The six-year-old has enjoyed a lot of success over the last 12 months, with five wins to his name from the last six races.

The most poignant of those victories came at Cheltenham 2018, when Footpad cruised to victory in the JLT Novices Chase ahead of Brain Power. Such a victory will provide punters with fresh optimism ahead of the 2019 festival and Footpad’s current price of 7.00 (6/1) should provide plenty of food for thought.

Min

Another Mullins entry, Min has enjoyed a strong year and has picked up victories at Punchestown and Leopardstown. At the time of writing, Min is priced at 17.00 (16/1) which makes him very appealing to the more daring punter.

Although not an out-and-out favourite, Min has the potential to cause an upset and is as good as any on his day. The thoroughbred pushed Altior hard in last year’s Chase and although he fell behind with the line in sight, Min pushed the favourite hard which makes it impossible to ignore him for 2019.

Petit Mouchoir

With a price of 34.00 (33/1), there isn’t much hope for Petit Mouchoir at this stage but the seven-year-old certainly has it in his arsenal to cause a surprise. Trainer Henry de Bromhead has tasted success in two previous Chases with Sizing Europe and Special Tiara, which provides an insight into how foolish it would be to disregard Petit Mouchoir.

Despite not recording any wins in 2018, Petit Mouchoir has demonstrated his potential with a number of strong runs so if he can find some form come March, there’s no reason why he can’t cause a minor upset.

Other hopefuls

Here’s a selection of some outside hopefuls but Cheltenham 2019 betting on Betfair has the full list of all the entries for the Champion Chase

Great Field @ 21.00 (20/1)

Sceau Royal @ 26.00 (25/1)

Un De Sceaux @ 30.00 (29/1)

Saint Calvados @ 36.00 (35/1)

Brain Power @ 65.00 (64/1)

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