• Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

    HEADLINES

    Altior has never been beaten over 2 miles in a hurdle or chase

    Only one Irish trained winner in the last eight

    This century 45 runners have been aged older than 9 yrs. Only 3 winners, two of whom were regaining crown

    Sizing Europe only winner this century not to have won that season.

    Finians Rainbow only winner this century to have been BF last time out.

    Sprinter Sacre only winner this century not to have previous run after Jan 1st.

    All winners going back to 2008 had already won a G1

    15 of the last 19 placed horses were already G1 winners.

    The last 21 had no more than 4 outings that season.

    Only one winner returned bigger than 11s since 1993.

    Only Badsworth Boy 1985 has won this three times.

    Summary

    Unlikely to be older than 9 unless previous winner. If a ten year old or older is priced under 10/1, to be placed. Will have won that season and should have been first, second, F or U last time. Has won over at least 2 miles 1 furlong. Has won a Grade 1 chase, is recently rated 160+ and had no more than 4 runs this season. Won't be wearing blinkers and won't be a mare. Will have won or been placed at the Festival before, a course winner or will never have been here before. Should have won 40% of completed NH starts and ran at least 7 times over fences. Ran since Boxing Day. If good ground race to be run in about 3 mins 51 secs.  Not a beaten favourite last time. Last years Arkle winner to be placed.

  • Evidence

    AGE - 'Great horses defy trends.' Altior is now 10 yrs old. Special Tiara joined Sprinter Sacre to be the first 10 yr olds to win since Moscow Flyer won at 11 yrs. Gods Own at 11 PU last year. Only five finished in 2018, Gods Own as a ten year old stole 3rd at 40s.

     

    Somersby 2nd 2015, Sizing Europe 2nd 2013, Big Zeb 3rd 2012, Moscow Flyer (win ’05) and Tuitchev 3rd ‘04 only horses aged 11 or over in last 22 years to have been placed. Moscow’s win at 11 first since from that age group since Skymas ’77. In the last 27 years, the winner's roll call reads aged 5 (1) 6 (2), 7(5), 8(8), 9(6), 10(4), 11(1). Apart from Tiara, Sprinter and Moscow, no winner older than 9 since One Man '98. Altior, Lady Buttons. This century 46 horses older than 9 tried (other than the three winners). Only 4 of those started at less than 10/1, all of those four finished placed at least. Sizing Europe, Big Zeb twice each and Fota Island. Somersby finished second twice aged 10 and 11 at 14s and 33s.

     

    Master Minded first five year old to win. Voy Por Ustedes had been the first six year old winner of this in 35 years. Then MM won as a six yr old. Only 13 six year olds have actually run in this race since ‘88. One since Petit Robin 3rd '09. None ran last two years.

    Only two seven yr olds winners in the last ten. Going back 5 winners and 6 seconds from 30 runners in last 25 renewals. Sceau Royal only qualifier last year 3rd last year at 16s. Min second in 2018 from three triers, Fox Norton similar in 2017, including Douvan at 1/4. None ran in 2016. Dodging Bullets was a 7yr old winner. Module 3rd in 2014. Sprinter Sacre and Sanctuare (4th) 2013. Defi Du Seuil,

     

    BETTING - Four winning favourites in the last seven including 2013 and '14. 2017 Special Tiara 11s followed Sizing Europe 10s, Big Zeb at 10s and Newmill's 16/1 success in ’06 as decent priced winners. Before that Deep Sensation 11/1 in 1994 highest priced winner since at least 1983. Between ’91 and ’04 only three of the 50 that started bigger than 14/1 got placed. Then Mister McGoldrick was 3rd in ’06 at 50/1 and ’07 placed horses Dempsey 20s and River City 33s. Module at 20s 3rd 2014, 2015 Somersby 2nd at 33s. 2016 Special Tiara 3rd at 16s 2017 Sir Valentino 3rd at 33s followed by Gods Own 40s 2018 and Sceau Royal last year. This race always tends to have small fields. (Largest field ever was 13 in 1999). Newmill is the only winner of this in the past 36 to be returned over 11/1.

     

    This century 19 horses beaten favourite last time or joint favourites have run. Finians Rainbow only winnner in 2012 in that hash of a race when they had to miss the last fence. Sceau Royal qualifier last year previously 2nd in the Kingwell at 11/10 fav. Douvan 2017, In 2015 Sprinter Sacre, Sire De Grugy also beat. Altior beat by Cyrname at Ascot at 1/3.

     

    FORM - 33 of last 35 had won that season (exceptions Sizing Europe and Martha’s Son ’97 one outing - Fell). 30 from last 35 had been 1st or 2nd last time (Special Tiara 5th to In De Sceaux in a soft ground rescheduled Clarence House, Martha’s, Edredon Bleu 3rd, Voy unseated, Sizing Europe 3rd).

    Only Special Tiara, Dodging Bullets, Sire De Grugy, Sprinter Sacre (first time) and Klairon Davis of the past 24 had failed to win over at least 2 miles 2 furlongs earlier in career. Special Tiara was never winning over 2m 2f. Sire did win novice hurdle over 17.5 furlongs. Sprinter Sacre previously 2nd in an 20 furlong Ascot Novice Hurdle. Klairon Davis had fallen early in his two attempts at longer distances. 16 of last 28 had won over 2 and 1/2 miles (Only Sprinter Sacre (2nd time) of the last seven, not Master Minded). Defi Du Seuil, A Plus Tard

    All last 17 had won over at least 2m 1f. Hardly a shock. Special Tiara's only win over more than the 2m minimum was when 4th fav in a Ballinrobe beginners chase. Hard to believe.

     

    IRISH TRAINED - Since ’95, Klairon Davis, Moscow Flyer (2), Newmill, Big Zeb Sizing Europe and Special Tiara have won for Irish trainers. Only one winner in the past eight. But reasonable from 58 runners over 24 years. But Min best in 5th last year at 7/2, second at 5/2 2018, 2017 Douvan 1/4. 2016 Un De Sceaux second at 4/6. Min 2015 Special Tiara (18s) best in third. Sizing flying the flag best in 4th 2014, sole representative in 2013 and 2nd. In 2012 the three Irish finished 2nd, 3rd and 5th. In 2011 the 4 Irish trained horses filled the first 4 places. Chacun Pour Soi, Min, A Plus Tard

     

    Nicky Henderson has trained 5 of the last eight winners.

     

    Tingle Creek/Queen Mother double. Seven have done it this century, all bar three winners at Sandown have come here. Altior, Dodging Bullets, Sire De Grugy, Sprinter Sacre, Master Minded '09, Moscow Flyer '05, Flagship Uberalles '02 going back to Viking Flagship '95. All bar Dodging Bullets were Queen Mother favourites. 2012 Sizing Europe pipped on the run in by Finians Rainbow after the nonsense with the last fence, if you remember. No double 2016 in Sire De Grugy finished last. Willie placed Un De Sceaux well in 2017 to run away with the Ryanair. Altior didn't make the 2017 Tingle Creek, Politilogue only fourth here 2018 after winning at Sandown. The Tingle Creek Chase has produced at least one subsequent Festival winner from 14 of its last 19 runnings. Didnt in 2018. Nine of last 14 winners of this ran at Sandown finishing 212141111 there. Defi Du Seuil.

     

    All bar Special Tiara, Dodging and Sizing of the last 23 winners had won more than half of their completed NH starts. Tiara a shocking 28 runs and 6 wins, Dodging was 8 from 18, Sizing 10 from 23 (I admit Newmill had only 9 wins from 20 runs before his triumph but you do humour me each year). Let us say all bar Special Tiara had won at least 45% all NH starts. Altior has won 20 from 23.

     

    Last winner with only one previous run this season was Flagship Uberalles 2002 and Call Equiname 1999. Uberalles came from winning a Tingle Creek and Equiname won a rescheduled Victor Chandler h'cap at Kempton.

     

    Six from last eleven won the Desert Orchid at Kempton including Special Tiara. Bun Doran

     

    Sprinter Sacre, Moscow Flyer 2003 and 2005, Royal Relief 1972 and 1974 are the only three to have regained crown. Moscow was 11yrs old and the 6/4 fav. Not relevant this year.

     

    15 of last 17 rated at least 160 and had previously won a Grade 1 race. Not Special Tiara but he had won two G1s and had just come down to 159 after two years in the 160s. Sprinter (second time) 170, Dodging 171, Sire 169. Last 19 winners had all previously won at least a Grade 2 and had no more than 4 outings that season. Master Minded 2008 the last winner to have yet to win a G1.

     

    20 from last 21 all ran at least 7 times over fences. Sprinter (first time) and Finians Rainbow with 7 each had the least, all the rest had more including Master Minded first time.

     

    No mare has ever won this race. No blinkered/cheekpieces winner in last 20.

     

    CHELTENHAM FORM - Since 1959 there have been 12 back to back winners of this, six in the past 35 years. Only Altior and Master Minded in the last 23 yrs. Apart from those two great champions, last 13 to come back have failed to defend their crown. All those six back to back winners started the second year as the short priced favourite. No Grand Annual/Queen Mother double since Kababatic ’91. (just can't see Croco Bay lining up)

     

    THE TREBLE - Only Badsworth Boy has achieved it. His treble was completed in '85, he was a 10 yr old, had 4 opponents that day, started at 11/8f and strolled home. (Bobsline, his only real opponent fell 3 out, just crumpled on landing, see Youtube). Of the five dual champions since, three returned to try and win this for the third time. Viking Flagship tried three times, finishing 9/4 second to Klairon Davis, 3/1 third to Martha's Son and 9/1 5th to One Man. Moscow Flyer came back as a 12 yr old to have a go, finishing a 5/1 5th to Newmill. Master Minded had two attempts, 4/5 4th to Big Zeb and 2/1f 8th to Sizing Europe. Its obviously not an easy thing to do. Altior.

     

    27 from last 35 won or placed at Festival before, the best return for this stat in the 4 Championship races. (Altior has won a Supreme, and Arkle and two of these. You would say he knows his way round. Special Tiara 3rd of 10 in 2016 version to Sprinter Sacre before his win. Dodging Bullets only 4th of 20 in a Triumph Hurdle and a three time course winner but I'll give it to him). Not Sire De Grugy, had never previously ran at the Festival but had been 2nd in a November G2 Novice Chase, (Sprinter Sacre Arkle winner, Finians Rainbow was 2nd in 2011 Arkle). Two of the other eight non Festival placers were course winners. Master Minded (first win) and Newmill had never been there before. Big Zeb fell in this in his only other visit to Cheltenham in '09. However, in the past 34 yrs only Special Tiara and Edredon Bleu in 2000 have improved on a placed effort one year to win it the next. Edredon started 7/2 2nd fav when he won. Min, Politologue

     

    16 of the last 17 Arkle winners to run, made the first three. Eight won. Altior and Sprinter Sacre the latest to do so. Not Un De Sceaux (2nd), Douvan unplaced. Footpad was fav in Ryanair last year. Duc De Genievres

     

    32 from last 35 either course winners or won over 2m2f. Not Special Tiara, not Sire De Grugy.
     

    All bar Sprinter Sacre of the last 17 ran since the turn of the year. He won the Desert Orchid Kempton on 27th Dec. Four days and hardly vital. Altior had a wind op and had been missing 287 days before his prep jog in the Game Spirit 2018. Last year jogged around Ascot at 1/10.

     

    Paul Nicholls - 5 winners and 6 placed from 28 runners since 1999. Politologue improved to 2nd last year from 4th in 2018. Possibly thought he was going to win at the last. No runners for PN in 2017. Dodging Bullets broke that losing Festival chase run of 81 runners stretching back to Kauto in 2009. Politologue, Dynamite Dollars

     

    2019 Queen Mother Form. Last year Altior powered s away up the hill in 3 mins 39 which was 8secs faster than in 2018, Didnt win as easy as 2018. Since last year Min has win 2 G1 over 2 m 4 and will probably head for the Ryanaair. In 2018 Douvan, running away when fell at top of the hill. Altior traded well above evens when outpaced down the hill but Politologue just stopped. Last year Sceau Royal jumped the last in front. Apart from Min last year for the second year you could say that the Queen Mother field wasn't very good. Hells Kitchen and Saint Calvados have won smaller races since but no horse beaten in the 2018 QM has won a graded 2 mile chase since. Time for new blood maybe? To be fair most years horses come back to this to be beaten again. Defi Du Seuil, Duc des Genievres, Chacun Pour Soi.

     

    All bar Special Tiara since 1978 either placed last time or F or U. He had been 5th.

     

    2018 Arkle - Duc De Genievres picked up the pieces as there was carnage throughout. Ruby had just won the Supreme so momentum theory was rife on the Mullins stable. Three of the fancied runners either UR or PU, another runner fell and the rest hardly showed as the Duc jogged home by 13l. The only runner to have won a race since is Slate House and he is being aimed at the RSA. 3 mins 59 was the Arkle time. In 2017 Ruby on Footpad (5/6) strolled behind Davy Russell on Petit Mouchoir and Aidan Coleman on Saint Calvados (11/4 2nd fav) as they cut their own throats in a bog. 4mins 2 secs was a fair enough time IMO poor enough rides by two senior jockeys. Unlike 2017, the time was better in standard than the Supreme or the Champion Hurdle that year. Interesting. Footpad's Arkle time was 5 secs faster than Altior's QM the next day. In 2016 Douvan's Arkle time was 3 mins 49 and .3 of a second faster than Sprinter Sacre the next day. Un De Sceaux's Arkle time was 3 mins 51 secs, only one and a half seconds faster than Dodging Bullets the next day. The 2014 Arkle time was 3.47 two seconds faster than the QM the next day. The seniors now carry 6lbs more as from 2014, a change from what was always 3lbs. Sprinter Sacre and Captain Chris also outspeeded their seniors in their respective Arkle years with only 3lb less.

     

    Queen Mother Times: Altior 3 mins 59 and 4 mins 7 secs, Special Tiara 3 mins 55s, Sprinter Sacre, 3 mins 49secs. Dodging Bulllets 4.00, Sire De Grugy 3.49, Sprinter Sacre 4.01 Finians Rainbow 3.52 Sizing Europe 3.54 Big Zeb 3 51, MM 2 4mins, MM1 3 56, Voy 3 53, Newmill 3 51, Moscow Flyer 3.54, Azer 3.54. Proves little. The races are both run on Old Course.

     

    TIMES - Chacun Pour Soi - 4 mins 111secs 2m 1f Leopardstown Feb Yielding.

    Defi Du Seuil - 4minsb17 2m 1f Ascot heavy, 3mins 59 Sandown Tingle Creek Soft.

    Altior - Game Spirit Newbury, Good ground, 4 mins 1 sec (Same race 2018 4 mins 19 secs soft, 2017 4 mins 6 secs soft)

     

    Altior has won the last two Queen Mothers, 2019 in 3 mins 59, 2018 4 mins 7, both allegedly in soft ground.

     

    Simon Rowlands Sectional Spotlights in ATR

     

    https://cheltenham.attheraces.com/features/sectional-spotlight/betway-queen-mother-champion-chase

     

    PLACED HORSES - Going back to Lord Dorcet in 1998 all bar Dempsey and Petit Robin of the 39 placed horses since were already at least Grade 2 chase winners. (Some years less than 8 runners) Dempsey himself came here on the back of a facile Sandown Grade 3 success in February of that year. Petit Robin, Dempsey and Lord Dorcet had previously been placed in a Grade 1. 15 of the last 19 placed horses in this were all previous Grade 1 winners. Not Min only G2 2018. Not Module and neither of 2017's two, Fox Norton nor Sir Valentino, both only G2 winners before this.

     

    BREEDING. 5 of past 7 winners under 8 yrs of age were French Bred. Have won 7 from last 18. Dodging Bullets was allegedly bred in England by Frankie Dettori though I'm not sure how much he knew about it. Altior and Special Tiara IRE bred, Un De Sceaux is French, Sire De Grugy is French. Sprinter Sacre is French Bred from Network, a German Sire

     

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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.