Champion Chase Preview : Altior Is One Of The Bankers Of The Meeting

Cheltenham Preview
Last Updated : 9th March, 2018 By Peter Roberts

Event Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse, Wednesday, March 14th at 3.30pm. Live on ITV.

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Altior is one of the best horses in training and the Champion Chase looks like a penalty kick. Previous Cheltenham Festival form is a massive factor in identifying leading contenders at the jumps meeting that matters most. Altior has won different races at the last two festivals and looks the banker bet of the week in the two miles championship race for chasers. You can back Altior or your selection using your Cheltenham Festival bookmaker horse racing free bet. 

The Champion Chase favourite won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle two years ago and the form of that race has worked out amazingly well. Min was in second places and runners further adrift included Buveur D’Air who won the Champion Hurdle last season and his favourite for the race on Tuesday. Altior was a better horse than Min over hurdles and the horse can translate that form into this steeplechase. Min looked impressive when winning in Ireland last month but Altior is the better horse. 

One of the most significant trials for the Champion Chase is the Arkle Chase in the previous year. This is the two miles championship race for novice chasers which Altior won with something in hand. After a 10 month break Nicky Henderson’s runner looked as good as ever at Newbury a month ago. It was only a three runner race but Altior was four lengths too good for Politologue who had shown some of the best form over the minimum distance earlier in the season. Altior is a best priced 8/11 with William Hill. 

The Champion Chase has a history of producing multiple winners. Since 2003 three horses have won two renewals. Special Tiara won the race last year but the big story was the poor run from Douvan. The Willie Mullins trained horse was a banker and the horse was backed if defeat was out of the question. Douvan finished lame in seventh place but is back for more but beating Altior is a huge ask. Douvan would have to be at his very best and Altior would have to underperform for Douvan to win the race. 

The betting suggests Min at 3/1 with Betbright (18+ Ts and Cs Apply) is a bigger danger to the favourite. The horse is the best two-miler in Ireland but Altior has the better form over hurdles and fences. Chasing is a different discipline to hurdling but overturning a seven length deficit from any type of race is difficult. Altior beat Min by that distance off level weights and the same conditions apply for the Champion Chase. There is no room for error taking 12 obstacles at speed but Altior is an impeccable jumper.  

The each-way value hunters may be interested in Charbel if the horse runs. Backing the horse in ante post markets now has the insurance of non-runner/ no bet with all the major bookmakers. Charbel was giving Altior a race before falling two fences out in the Arkle Chase on Day 1 last season. Charbel was never going to beat Altior but the potential margin of defeat suggest Charbel is overpriced for the Champion Chase but ALTIOR cannot be opposed in the race. Tip

ALTIOR cannot be opposed in the Champion Chase 

Get odds of 8/11 on Altior with William Hill. (18+ Ts and Cs Apply)

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  • The Champion Chase is the championship race over the minimum distance.
  • There are 12 fences over the two miles of the Old Course.
  • The race was first run in 1959.
  • It is a Grade 1 contest and all horses carry 11-10.
  • Badsworth Boy is the only three-time winner.
  • Barry Geraghty is one of two jockeys to win the race a record five times.
  • Tom Dreaper is the leading trainer with six wins, from 1960 to 1970.
  • The average price of the winner over the last 10 years is 5/1.
  • Three outright favourites have won in that spell.
  • Only one winner started at bigger than 11/1 since 1982.  

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