Politologue Offers Each Way Value For A Red Hot Queen Mother Champion Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and there is the mouth-watering prospect of Altior lining up against Douvan and Min...
- 15 of the past 18 winners of the Champion Chase were no bigger than 5/1
- The Tingle Creek Chase has provided 11 of the last 17 winners of the Champion Chase
|Wednesday - 3.30pm||Odds||Bets|
|Queen Mother Champion Chase|
|Politologue (each way) Best Bet||12/1|
The Big Three
Altior made a delayed return this season following a wind operation and the 8-year-old looked to be in fine fettle when beating Politologue in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. Plenty of punters were piling into last year's superb Arkle winner as a result but noises coming from the yard of Nicky Henderson in recent days have set alarm bells ringing.
Henderson revealed that Altior was found to be lame with puss located on the frog (of his foot) but subsequent treatment has worked well and he is now sound. It is difficult to know how much to read into that news and there is no doubt that the issue is a major concern for punters backing the 5/4 favourite (Paddy Power).
Henderson has trained three of the past six winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase but he faces competition from the yard of Willie Mullins, who has the once mighty Douvan and Min at his disposal.
The brilliant Douvan hasn't been seen since his unbeaten run was ended by an unusually poor effort in this race twelve months ago and it is open to debate as to whether the 8-year-old can return to his very best. Plenty will be attracted by the 3/1 price (Unibet) and it is worth noting that he is the preferred ride of Ruby Walsh.
Douvan's stablemate, Min, was beaten by Altior in the 2016 Supreme but has made an excellent impression in Ireland this season, albeit a scrambled victory at Leopardstown in December was erased when the result was reversed by officials post-race and Simply Ned was promoted to first place. Min has since slammed that same rival to win the Dublin Chase in February and the 7-year-old can be backed at 3/1 this week.
The first-three are obviously a classy trio and 15 of the last 18 Champion Chase winners were no bigger than 5/1.
However, we await to see how Altior and Douvan are health-wise, with Politologue perhaps best positioned to run into some place money if either of the leading fancies fail to fire.
Politologue has won three of four starts for Paul Nicholls this season, including the Tingle Creek at Sandown - a Grade 1 race which has provided 11 of the last 17 winners of the Champion Chase - and the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton - 6 of the last 11 winners of the Champions Chase also won the Desert Orchid.
The 7-year-old was beaten by a fully fit Altior last time out but it is fair to assume that the 7-year-old will run his own race and he looks great each-way value at 14/1 (Ladbrokes) at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Special Tiara will bid to become only the second 11-year-old, after Moscow Flyer, to win the Champion Chase since 1978. Henry De Bromhead's veteran can be backed at 28/1, while those looking for a huge price may want to consider Charbel, who ran a big race in the Arkle before falling when two from home last year.