The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the feature event on Day Two (Ladies’ Day) of the Cheltenham Festival. A Grade 1 event, this race typically has fewer entrants than many other races of the same level but that does not detract from the excitement.
For many this is thought of as the best race of the Festival, where bettors and spectators can watch the thrilling spectacle of a selection of the very best high speed, two-mile chasers battle it out for victory.
The Queen Mother was a respected owner of chasers including Game Spirit, who came second here in 1976. There were no sponsors of the Queen Mother Champion Chase until 2008, when Seasons Holidays began their three-year sponsorship, followed by three years under Sportingbet. The 2014 race was sponsored by BetVictor, and current sponsors Betway took over in 2015.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase takes place on Cheltenham’s Old Course over a distance of 3,219 metres with 12 fences.
In terms of prize money this is a coveted win: the total prize pot stands at £350,000 and the winner pockets £199,325. Horses aged from five years can enter and the weight carried is 11st 10lb, with the required 7lb allowance for mares and fillies.
- The horse with the most wins under his belt in this race to date is Badsworth Boy, who rode to victory in three consecutive years from 1983 to 1985.
- Two jockeys have managed to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase five times each. The first was Pat Taaffe, who raced on Fortria in 1960 and 1961, Ben Stack in 1964, Flyingbolt in 1966 and Straight Fort in 1970. More recently came jockey Barry Geraghty, who took the Cup twice on Moscow Flyer in 2003 and 2005, and once on Big Zeb (2010), Finian’s Rainbow (2012) and Sprinter Sacre (2013).
- Owners George Ansley and Doug Armitage each boast three victories, Ansley with Pat Taaffe on Fortria and Straight Fort, and Armitage with Badsworth Boy.
- Tom Dreaper, the leading trainer has worked with five winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and achieved six wins: twice with Fortria, and once with Ben Stack, Flyingbolt, Muir, and Straight Fort.
- The longest-priced horse to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase was Another Dolly in 1980, who romped home in first place with starting odds of 33/1.
As the most anticipated event of Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival, the Queen Mother Champion Chase sums up everything that makes the Festival so popular: a rich history, incredible displays of talent, and a charge to the finish that is sure to get your pulse racing.