Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Oops, your browser is out of date - Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Altior stars as 22 entered for Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Press Release 10th January 2019 Cheltenham

Thursday, January 10, 2019 - Superstar chaser Altior headlines 22 entries for the £400,000 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the highlight on day two of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 13 at Cheltenham.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by Patricia Pugh, Altior is undefeated in three starts at The Festival™ presented by Magners and is going for back-to-back victories over the Old Course at Cheltenham in the two-mile Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, following an impressive seven-length victory over Min (Willie Mullins IRE) in 2018.

He won the 2017 G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase emphatically and the 2016 G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle in tremendous style, also by seven lengths from Min.

Altior is the 1/2 favourite with Betway on the back of a very easy success in the G2 Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park on December 27, the nine-year-old's 16th consecutive victory over obstacles, further consolidating his unbeaten record over fences (11 starts) and previously hurdles (five starts).

If successful, he would bring Henderson's sixth Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase victory, equalling the record for a trainer in the race held by the late Tom Dreaper.

Willie Mullins accounts for four of the 10 Irish-trained entries, with Min accompanied by last year's impressive G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase winner Footpad (8/1), nine-time G1 scorer Un De Sceaux (10/1)and Great Field (10/1).

The Irish challenge also includes 12-year-old Special Tiara (Henry de Bromhead IRE), winner of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2017, and G2 Hilly Way Chase victor Castlegrace Paddy (Pat Fahy IRE, 50/1).

Sceau Royal (Alan King) is the shortest-priced British-trained contender behind Altior at 16/1. He defeated Simply Ned (Nicky Richards, 25/1) by two and a quarter lengths in the G2 Shloer Chase at The November Meeting but was no match for Altior when fourth in the G1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park in December.

Popular 12-year-old Simply Ned, whose stables are in Cumbria, humbled several of the Irish contenders, including runner-up Footpad, on their own turf when landing the G1 Paddy's Rewards Club "Sugar Paddy" Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Fellow Northern-trained Lady Buttons (Phil Kirby, 40/1) is the only mare among the entries. The nine-year-old is three from three so far this season, taking in a Listed hurdle at Wetherby, a competitive handicap chase at Newbury and most recently a two and a half-mile Listed chase at Doncaster on December 29.

Her record over fences stands at four wins from five starts. A mare has yet to win the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, with the last one to be placed being the great Anaglogs Daughter - runner-up to Drumgora in 1981.

North Yorkshire-based Phil Kirby said:

"Lady Buttons has come out of Doncaster in good form. We were delighted with her performance and this season, she has just kept on improving. She has always been a horse we have held in high regard. She had a couple of niggles earlier on in her career, but the last couple of seasons have been excellent and she has progressed with every run. We have entered her in the Champion Chase. We are still to make a decision as to where she runs next as there are not a whole load of options at two miles for mares. It was pleasing at Doncaster that she demonstrated she stays further."

Paul Nicholls, who has won the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on five occasions, has G1 Melling Chase victor and last year's fourth Politologue (25/1) among his two contenders, while Colin Tizzard's sole entry is the 2017 runner-up Fox Norton (25/1).

Other notables include God's Own (Tom George, 40/1), who came home third in the 2018 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington, 25/1).

 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase - Betway prices: 1/2 Altior; 8/1 Footpad; 10/1 Min; Great Field, Sceau Royal, Un De Sceaux; 25/1 Fox Norton, Politologue, Saint Calvados, Simply Ned; 33/1 Diego Du Charmil, Petit Mouchoir; 40/1 God's Own, Lady Buttons; 50/1 Castlegrace Paddy, Doctor Phoenix, Ordinary World; 66/1 A Toi Phil, Forest Bihan, Hell's Kitchen, Ozzie The Oscar

Record number of Irish entries in Ryanair Chase

Northern chasing star Waiting Patiently is among 44 entries, including a record 29 from Ireland, for the £350,000 G1 Ryanair Chase over an extended two and a half miles of the New Course at Cheltenham on day three of The Festival™ presented by Magners, St Patrick's Thursday, March 14.

Waiting Patiently, trained by Yorkshire-based Ruth Jefferson who had the 2018 Ryanair Chase third Cloudy Dream, has won six of his seven starts over fences, with his most notable success coming in the G1 Ascot Chase at Ascot in February.

The lightly-raced eight-year-old, owned by Richard Collins, met his first defeat over fences last time out when hampered and unseating regular partner Brian Hughes at the ninth fence in the G1 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on December 26.

10-time champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has two leading contenders in Frodon and Politologue, who is also entered in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Frodon has taken his form to a new level this season, winning the G2 Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree and the G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup for the second time at The International in December.

13 of the record 29 Irish-trained entries are from the stable of Willie Mullins, Ireland's champion Jump trainer. The pick of the Mullins' contenders are Al Boum Photo, Footpad, impressive G1 Savills Chase victor Kemboy, 2017 winner Un De Sceaux, who was also second last year, and Min, who proved himself over two and a half miles with a decisive success in the G1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December.

Fellow Irish training behemoth Gordon Elliott's has six contenders including Shattered Love and The Storyteller, both of whom were successful over course and distance at The Festival™ presented by Magners in 2018 - Shattered Love impressed when taking the G1 JLT Novices' Chase, while The Storyteller captured the G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.

Henry de Bromhead saddled the latest Irish winner of the Ryanair Chase in 2018 with Balko Des Flos, who triumphed by four and a half lengths under Davy Russell, but has yet to hit top form in three runs so far his season. The trainer has also entered 2018RSA Insurance Novices' Chase runner-up Monalee, 2018 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase third Petit Mouchoir and 2018 Ryanair Chase fourth Sub Lieutenant.

Venetia Williams, who trains in Herefordshire, is hoping Aso can improve on his third behind Un De Sceaux in the 2017 Ryanair Chase.

Now a nine-year-old, Aso has only been lightly-raced since due to injury, but has returned as good as ever this season.

He routed the opposition by 13 lengths in a two and a half-mile handicap chase at Newbury on November 30 and defied top-weight to win the G3 Download The Betbright App Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, taking his rating to a career-high 163.

Williams said:

"Aso has come out of his win at Cheltenham in good form. The Ryanair Chase is the target. He deserves his place in the race and it was a great performance to finish third in the Ryanair a couple of seasons ago and that is again where we will go. He will have possibly have one or even two runs before The Festival. We could take him back to Cheltenham for Festival Trials Day (January 26) or go to Ascot for the G1 Ascot Chase (February 16). Aso has now got another string to his bow as by accident, he made much of the running on his last two starts and he did it very well. We used to think he is a horse that needed holding on to, but that is not the case anymore."

 

G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Grade 1, £400,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.30pm Cheltenham, Old Course, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Two miles (1m 7f 199y). For 5yo+ who are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including the day prior to confirmation - horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered & such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including the day prior to confirmation would merit a minimum rating of 130 (the decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final). Weights: 11st 10lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 8, entries revealed January 10 (22 entries), scratchings' deadline February 12, £20,000 supplementary entry & six-day confirmation stage March 7. Final 48-hour declaration stage, 10am, March 11.

 

Horse

Age

Owner

Trainer

A TOI PHIL (FR)

9

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

ALTIOR (IRE)

9

Patricia Pugh

Nicky Henderson 

CASTLEGRACE PADDY (IRE)

8

Clipper Logistics Group Ltd

Pat Fahy IRE

DIEGO DU CHARMIL (FR)

7

Mrs Johnny de la Hey

Paul Nicholls 

DOCTOR PHOENIX (IRE)

11

Nick Bradley Racing Club

Gordon Elliott IRE

FOOTPAD (FR)

7

Simon Munir/Isaac Souede

Willie Mullins IRE

FOREST BIHAN (FR)

8

Phil & Julie Martin

Brian Ellison 

FOX NORTON (FR)

9

Ann & Alan Potts Limited

Colin Tizzard 

GOD'S OWN (IRE)

11

Crossed Fingers Partnership

Tom George 

GREAT FIELD (FR)

8

J P McManus

Willie Mullins IRE

HELL'S KITCHEN

8

J P McManus

Harry Fry 

LADY BUTTONS

9

Jayne Sivills

Philip Kirby 

MIN (FR)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

ORDINARY WORLD (IRE)

9

Chris Jones

Henry de Bromhead IRE

OZZIE THE OSCAR (IRE)

8

Bradley Partnership

Philip Hobbs 

PETIT MOUCHOIR (FR)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Henry de Bromhead IRE

POLITOLOGUE (FR)

8

John Hales

Paul Nicholls 

SAINT CALVADOS (FR)

6

Kate & Andrew Brooks

Harry Whittington 

SCEAU ROYAL (FR)

7

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Alan King 

SIMPLY NED (IRE)

12

David & Nicky Robinson

Nicky Richards 

SPECIAL TIARA

12

Sally Rowley-Williams

Henry de Bromhead IRE

UN DE SCEAUX (FR)

11

Edward O'Connell

Willie Mullins IRE

 

22 entries

10 Irish-trained

 

G1 Ryanair Chase

Grade 1, £350,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.50pm, Cheltenham, Thursday, March 14, 2019, two miles & five furlongs (2m 4f 166y). For 5yo+ who are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including the day prior to confirmation - horses who are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered & such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including the day prior to confirmation would merit a minimum rating of 130 (the decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final). Weights: 5-y-o 11st 9lb, 6-y-o and upwards 11st 10lb. Allowances: mares 7lb. Entries closed January 8, entries revealed January 10 (44 entries), scratchings deadline February 12, £17,500 supplementary entry stage and six-day confirmation stage March 8. Final 48-hour declaration stage, 10.00am, March 12. Maximum number of runners - 24.

 

Horse

Age

Owner

Trainer

A TOI PHIL (FR)

9

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR)

9

Slaneyville Syndicate

Willie Mullins IRE

ACTIVIAL (FR)

9

Roger Brookhouse

Tom George 

AL BOUM PHOTO (FR)

7

Mrs J Donnelly

Willie Mullins IRE

ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR)

9

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

ASO (FR)

9

The Bellamy Partnership

Venetia Williams 

BACHASSON (FR)

8

Edward O'Connell

Willie Mullins IRE

BALKO DES FLOS (FR)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Henry de Bromhead IRE

BELLSHILL (IRE)

9

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Willie Mullins IRE

BLACK HERCULES (IRE)

10

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Willie Mullins IRE

CASTLEGRACE PADDY (IRE)

8

Clipper Logistics Group Ltd

Pat Fahy IRE

CHARBEL (IRE)

8

Julie and David Martin

Kim Bailey 

CONEY ISLAND (IRE)

8

J P McManus

Eddie Harty IRE

DOCTOR PHOENIX (IRE)

11

Nick Bradley Racing Club

Gordon Elliott IRE

FOOTPAD (FR)

7

Simon Munir/Isaac Souede

Willie Mullins IRE

FOX NORTON (FR)

9

Ann & Alan Potts Limited

Colin Tizzard 

FRODON (FR)

7

P J Vogt

Paul Nicholls 

HELL'S KITCHEN

8

J P McManus

Harry Fry 

INVITATION ONLY (IRE)

8

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Willie Mullins IRE

JANIKA (FR)

6

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

KEMBOY (FR)

7

Supreme Racing/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp

Willie Mullins IRE

KILLULTAGH VIC (IRE)

10

Rose Boyd/B Anderson/Mrs M Armstrong

Willie Mullins IRE

MIN (FR)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

MISTER WHITAKER (IRE)

7

Tim Radford

Mick Channon 

MONALEE (IRE)

8

Barry Maloney

Henry de Bromhead IRE

OUTLANDER (IRE)

11

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

PETIT MOUCHOIR (FR)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Henry de Bromhead IRE

POLITOLOGUE (FR)

8

John Hales

Paul Nicholls 

ROAD TO RESPECT (IRE)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Noel Meade IRE

SAINT CALVADOS (FR)

6

Kate & Andrew Brooks

Harry Whittington 

SHATTERED LOVE (IRE)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

SIZING JOHN

9

Ann & Alan Potts Limited

Jessica Harrington IRE

SNOW FALCON (IRE)

9

Patricia Hunt

Noel Meade IRE

SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE)

10

Gigginstown House Stud

Henry de Bromhead IRE

TERREFORT (FR)

6

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

THE STORYTELLER (IRE)

8

Mrs Pat Sloan

Gordon Elliott IRE

TOP NOTCH (FR)

8

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

TOTAL RECALL (IRE)

10

Slaneyville Syndicate

Willie Mullins IRE

TOUT EST PERMIS (FR)

6

Gigginstown House Stud

Noel Meade IRE

UN DE SCEAUX (FR)

11

Edward O'Connell

Willie Mullins IRE

VALTOR (FR)

10

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

WAITING PATIENTLY (IRE)

8

Richard Collins

Ruth Jefferson 

WILLIE BOY (IRE)

8

Kate & Andrew Brooks

Charlie Longsdon 

YORKHILL (IRE)

9

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Willie Mullins IRE

 

44 entries

29 Irish-trained

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, March 12, to Friday, March 15, 2019 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season. 

More information is available at www.cheltenham.co.uk   and through Twitter (@CheltenhamRaces), Facebook www.facebook.com/thehomeofjumpracing  and Instagram (@CheltenhamRaces).

 About The Jockey Club

Cheltenham is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

If you need any information about racing at Cheltenham, please contact: Sophia Dale, Communications Manager - Jockey Club Racecourses South West 01242 537 683

sophia.dale@thejockeyclub.co.uk

MORE LIKE THIS

17 November 2019

ARIAT LEADING JOCKEY AWARD

Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.

Loading