Cheltenham Champion Chase Preview
Of the four championship races at the Cheltenham Festival, this is the one where we have a really strong odds on favourite that many will see as the banker of the meeting. The horse is of course Altior, and the nine year old is coming here looking to record back to back wins in this race.
There is no doubt that he is a special animal, and he is currently on a 17 race unbeaten streak, showing just how far ahead of the field he really is. He didn’t really look at his best in this race last year, and was niggled along early by Nico de Boinville to give his backers a scare. However, as soon as he started to go up the hill he powered away from the field to win by seven lengths. This horse looks as though he needs further than two miles, but while ever he is dominating this division in the way that he is, I doubt we will see him over further anytime soon.
As for those behind him in the betting, many trainers are looking at possibly swerving Altior and stepping up to two and a half miles for the Ryanair Chase. Willie Mullins has three horses in the race right now, Min, Footpad and Un De Sceaux but my guess is that only one of those will run, certainly no more than two.
One horse that looks sure to run in the race is Simply Ned, trained by northern trainer Nicky Richards. He won in Ireland over Christmas, beating Footpad and also ran a good race at Cheltenham in November, finishing second behind Sceau Royal. He is an intended runner, which gives him an advantage over many in the field, and he will certainly be either a lot shorter in the betting on the day, or the race will have worse each way terms because of horses defecting from the race. That makes him a good bet to place prior to the day itself, for those who are looking for an alternative to Altior at the short price he already is.
Champion Chase Betting Tip
- Simply Ned EW @ 25/1 (Black Type)
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