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2021 Champion Chase Tips – Take on the favourite with two each-way bets

  • We’ve published our guide to the 2021 Champion Chase
  • The Queen Mother is the main event on day two of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
  • We're taking on short-priced favourite Chacun Pour Soi
  • Nube Negra and Rouge Vif are our best betting tips
nube negra
Nube Negra winning easily at Kempton after Christmas. (Getty)
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Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival is headlined by the Queen Mother Champion Chase. All of the best two miles chasers to grace the sport of National Hunt racing have won the Queen Mother, with the names of Badsworth Boy, Moscow Flyer, Master Minded and Sprinter Sacre shining on the roll of honour.

After the Dublin Racing Festival, Chacun Pour Soi was cut into odds-on to win the Champion Chase. Find out whether we’re for or against the favourite in our preview below.

2021 Champion Chase Guide


2021 Champion Chase Odds


Name
Best Odds
Top Bookie
Chacun Pour Soi10/11William Hill
Altior8/1bet365
Politologue9/1bet365
Nube Negra12/1William Hill
First Flow14/1William Hill
Put The Kettle On14/1bet365
Bar25/1

*Odds taken on 18/2/21*

2021 Champion Chase Tips – The Champion Elect?


Chacun Pour Soi2021 Champion Chase FavouriteGET 10/11 HERE
New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.William Hill is operated by WHG (International) Limited, a company registered in Gibraltar. William Hill is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (Number: 000-039225 R-319373-009) for customers in Great Britain, and licensed by the Gibraltar Government and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL no. 034 & 042) for all other customers.

Chacun Pour Soi has been the outstanding chaser of the season thus far. Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old has won all three of his starts, with the last two coming in Grade Ones at Leopardstown. Chacun Pour Soi deserves to be odds-on for the 2021 Champion Chase. But, is he worth backing at 10/11? I think not.

This is the first season where Willie Mullins has got more than two runs into this ultra-talented, but clearly fragile gelding. Last season, Chacun Pour Soi looked set to make his Cheltenham Festival debut after winning the Dublin Chase, but picked up an injury in the days leading up to the Champion Chase and was forced to miss the meeting.

Willie Mullins has never won the Champion Chase. In fact, Henry De Bromhead is the only Irish trainer in the last decade to win this historic chase, with the other eight renewals going the way of English trainers. Chacun Pour Soi has never run at Cheltenham before, and a quick glance through the history books will tell you that very few chasers have been able to win the Queen Mother with no prior experience around this testing track.

If he runs up the sort of level he’s shown throughout the season, then Chacun Pour Soi will probably win. Yet, there are several reasons to suggest he may underperform on his Cheltenham debut, and Mullins’ star has a history of picking up injuries. With that in mind, I’m taking the hot-favourite on in the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

chacun pour soi
Chacun Pour Soi winning the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. (Getty)

2021 Champion Chase Tips – Irish Raiders


Put The Kettle On2020 Arkle Challenge Trophy WinnerGET 14/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Given what we mentioned earlier, then whoever Henry De Bromhead’s sends to the Champion Chase has to be respected.

Put The Kettle On
boasts a strong record around this track, having won last year’s Arkle and the Shloer Chase in the last 12 months. Yet, she has eight lengths to find on Chacun Pour Soi from the Dublin Chase, and mares’ haven’t got the greatest record in the Queen Mother.

De Bromhead's other possible runner is Notebook, who's suffered two defeats at the hands of Chacun Pour Soi already this season, and didn’t handle the Old Course that well in last season’s Arkle.

I would be amazed if Fakir D’Oudairies - who followed Chacun Pour Soi home at the Dublin Racing Festival - didn’t go for the much more winnable Ryanair Chase, having won a Grade One over that trip as a novice last season.

Neither Samcro nor Battleoverdoyen have been convincing this season, and we still have no idea which race they will enter at the Cheltenham Festival. Willie Mullins has handed entries to both Tornado Flyer and Cilaos Emery, but neither offers much in the way of appeal.

2021 Champion Chase Tips – The Home Challenge


AltiorFormer Two-Time Champion Chase WinnerGET 8/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Altior remains an 8/1 shot in the Champion Chase betting, despite the fact he’s only run three times in the last two seasons – suffering two comfortable defeats, with his only victory coming in last year’s Game Spirit Chase, where he looked every inch a two-and-a-half-mile horse. It would be reckless to completely rule Nicky Henderson’s four-time Cheltenham Festival winner out, but age is catching up with Altior and he hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest of preps.

Politologue was rather fortunate to win the Queen Mother last year, and he was found out by First Flow in the Clarence House Chase when last seen at Ascot. First Flow announced himself as a genuine Champion Chase contender that day, but he was pulled up on his only previous run around Cheltenham, and I doubt the ground will be soft enough for his liking.

I’m not sure whether Greaneteen is up to Grade One standard just yet, and Fanion D’Estruval would be better suited by the trip in the Ryanair Chase. Duc Des Genievres isn’t good enough for the Champion Chase, and the likes of Ibleo, Magic Saint and Espirit Du Large look better suited to handicaps.

rouge vif
Rouge Vif winning well at Cheltenham in October. (Getty)

2021 Champion Chase Tips – Each-Way Alternative


Nube Negra E/W2021 Champion Chase Tip 1GET 12/1 HERE
New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.William Hill is operated by WHG (International) Limited, a company registered in Gibraltar. William Hill is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (Number: 000-039225 R-319373-009) for customers in Great Britain, and licensed by the Gibraltar Government and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL no. 034 & 042) for all other customers.

My best bet in this year’s Champion Chase is going to be NUBE NEGRA, who trounced Altior and Duc Des Genievres on his only start so far this season in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton. Dan Skelton’s charge looked the only winner a mile from home, and Harry Skelton barely asked his mount for a serious effort all the way around, cantering over the line an easy winner.

Even as a novice, Nube Negra jumped beautifully, winning his first two starts over fences without breaking a sweat. Dan Skelton's seven-year-old then came up a length short of Espirit Du Large in the Henry VIII at Sandown – on bottomless ground he wouldn’t have liked - and didn’t have much left in the tank when finishing second in the Kingmaker on his final start.

Nube Negra is a young, talented chaser, who’s clearly still on the upgrade. Skelton has realised he needs a decent break between his races, so I was delighted to hear that the plan was to go straight from Kempton to the Champion Chase, and the ground on day two should be on the good side of soft, which will be ideal for Nube Negra.

Harry Skelton’s mount finished a close third in the 2018 Boodles Juvenile Handicap, so he does have previous around this track. Nube Negra ran up to an RPR of 170 without coming out of third-gear at Kempton. There’s clearly more to come from him and 12/1 is a cracking each-way price.

2021 Champion Chase Tips – Overpriced Contender


Rouge Vif E/W2021 Champion Chase Tip 2GET 25/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Nube Negra was beaten in last year’s Kingmaker by ROUGE VIF. Harry Whittington’s star was then backed into 9/1 for the Arkle, but never really got going on genuinely soft ground. Gavin Sheehan’s mount was last of those still going turning for home, but ran on well up the hill to finish third.

Rouge Vif showed what he was capable of on much better ground at Cheltenham earlier this season, storming to a superb handicap victory at the Showcase Meeting, winning by seven lengths under the burden of top-weight. His third-place finish in the Tingle Creek was highly commendable, given how poor the ground was. 

Rouge Vif then tried to jump off handy in the Desert Orchid. A combination of soft ground and few poor jumps saw him shuffled back to last after just four flights, and Whittington’s seven-year-old could never recover.

Rouge Vif goes really well fresh and we know how well he handles the course at the Cheltenham Festival. Like Nube Negra, Rouge Vif is much more effective on decent ground, but the long-term weather forecast is favourable, and the fact that Cheltenham is to be staged so late in March means we’re more likely to get decent ground. Rouge Vif will be my second selection at 25/1.
US

Verdict

My first selection against Chacun Pour Soi is Nube Negra, who looked every inch a Champion Chase contender when winning the Desert Orchid Chase, and he offers plenty of each-way value.

As does Rouge Vif, who loves Cheltenham and will likely get the decent ground he craves.

2021 Champion Chase Tip 1: Nube Negra Each-Way @1200.0 at BetMGM - 10 Units
2021 Champion Chase Tip 2: Rouge Vif Each-Way @2500.0 at bet365 Sport NJ - 5 Units

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