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2024 Champion Chase Tips - Favourite hard to oppose in day two feature

jon-vine
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Last updated: 06 Mar 2024
Jon Vine 06 Mar 2024
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  • Free guide to the 2024 Champion Chase
  • This historic Grade One takes place on day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday 13th March
  • El Fabiolo is the short-priced favourite
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el fabiolo
Paul Townend celebrates on board El Fabiolo after winning the Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase. (Getty)

Ladies' Day at the Cheltenham Festival is headlined by the Queen Mother Champion Chase. With defending two-time winner, Energumene out for the season, it's the top two from last year's Arkle Challenge Trophy who currently dominate the market.

Here's our free guide to the 2024 Champion Chase. You'll find our best betting tips in the verdict section below.

2024 Champion Chase Tips


For much of the season, El Fabiolo and Jonbon have been locked in a battle for Champion Chase favouritism. Having beaten his rival comfortably in the 2023 Arkle, El Fabiolo topped the betting during the off-season, but impressive victories in the Shloer Chase and the Tingle Creek saw Jonbon edge closer to the market leader.

In what should have been a routine prep for the Queen Mother, Jonbon produced a shocking round of jumping in the rescheduled Clarence House at Cheltenham. Henderson's eight-year-old made error after error under James Bowen and almost fell at the fourth-last. The 1/4 favourite attempted to rally in the closing stages, but Elixir De Nutz held on to claim a surprise win.

El Fabiolo then cemented his position as the odds-on favourite for the Champion Chase with an easy victory at the Dublin Racing Festival. Willie Mullins had expected Dinoblue to give her stablemate a stern test, and that she did, but El Fabiolo inevitably proved too strong.

Edwardstone re-entered the Champion Chase discussion following a superb front-running victory in the Game Spirit Chase. Alan King's star ran no sort of race when held up in the feature on day two of the Cheltenham Festival last year. If he were to go hard and fast from flag fall once again, that would suit both El Fabiolo and Jonbon, who would have no trouble at all in seeing out two-and-a-half miles. I could see Edwardstone finishing third, but 9/1 isn't enough to tempt me into an each-way bet.

Elixir De Nutz is in the discussion for the places, but he would need decent ground to be at his best. Ferny Hollow won't be travelling to Cheltenham, despite an impressive reappearance triumph at Naas. The only other runner with a chance of challenging is last year's runner-up, Captain Guinness, who would appeal from an each-way standpoint if it wasn't for that fibrillating heart condition, which can rear its ugly head at any given time.

Verdict

Jonbon was no match for El Fabiolo in last year's Arkle and Nicky Henderson's star didn't convince anyone that he could reverse that form when beaten in the Clarence House.

With no viable each-way options against the favourite, I'm happy to leave the Champion Chase alone. If I had to pin my colours to any horse, it would have to be El Fabiolo.

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13 Mar 2024

2024 Champion Chase