As the feature race of day two, once the Queen Mother Champion Chase gets underway, you know you are right in the thick of the action at the Cheltenham Festival. The unrivalled racing meeting is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the sporting calendar, and the 2023 edition will be no different, as thousands pack into the stands at Prestbury Park to watch the races unfold.
With the Festival drawing ever closer, fans are beginning to analyse the 2023 Queen Mother Champion Chase with particular interest. It’s a race that could feature an exciting battle between Edwardstone and defending champion Energumene, who are both priced at 13/8 at the time of writing.
The Champion Chase is a race that has featured plenty of great champions over the years. As excitement builds for this year’s edition, let’s take a look at a few horses from years gone by who have excelled in the day two showpiece.
We start with the most successful horse in the history of the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Badsworth Boy is the only horse to have won the race on three occasions, and they all came back-to-back, in a glorious run of success from 1983 to 1985.
For trainers Michael and Monica Dickinson, and jockey Robert Earnshaw, it was a glorious period in their respective careers. Badsworth Boy made the Champion Chase his own for those three years in the 1980s, and his achievements are still talked about to this day.
The success of Badsworth Boy triggered a wave of horses winning successive editions of the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Pearlyman was the next to do so, coming out on top in both 1987 and 1988.
John Edwards was the successful trainer who guided Pearlyman to glory, while Peter Morgan and Tom Scudamore were the lucky jockeys who got to revel in the success.
In 1989, it was Barnbrook Again who tasted the glory of winning the Champion Chase in two successive years. David Elsworth was the winning trainer, with Simon Sherwood and Hywel Davies the men in the saddle.
The mid-1990s were all about Viking Flagship as far as the Champion Chase was concerned. The David Nicholson-trained horse won it in 1994 and 1995, with Adrian Maguire and Charlie Swan taking to the saddle on respective occasions.
It took 13 years for another horse to earn successive victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. It was Master Minded who achieved the feat, and it will come as no surprise that the legendary jockey-trainer duo of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins were responsible for the success.
The first win for Master Minded came in 2007, before Walsh and Mullins followed it up with further glory 12 months later.
Now we come to one of the Champion Chase’s modern heroes. Altior is one of the greatest horses of recent times. His dual Queen Mother triumphs in 2018 and 2019 are the main reason for his enduring legacy in racing.
The honours went to trainer Nicky Henderson and his trusted jockey Nico de Boinville, who guided Altior to victory in successive editions of the Cheltenham Festival.
Looking to watch Cheltenham on TV? Find out more here.