Champion Chase Trends


Alex Dudley | @@Alex_Dudz_

Champion Chase Trends 2024

The second feature race of the festival and the first chance for the chasers to decide who’s the best in the division is the Champion Chase.

Below we’ll look into who in the field the stats and trends over previous years favour for a tilt at the championship.

Stat One

The age of the runner could have a massive bearing on their chances in the Champion Chase based on the trend that ten of the last 12 runners have been between seven and nine. The notable runner to break this trend was the legendary Sprinter Sacre for trainer Nicky Henderson, who was one of two runners aged ten to win the Champion Chase.

However, nine-year-olds have the best recent record, with Altior, Politologue, and Energumene all winning at that age since 2019. This trend could be most damaging for the chances of Edwardstone at the Festival.

Stat Two

The price will be an accurate representation of a horses chances in the Champion Chase, with eleven of the 12 winners since 2012 being found in the top three in the betting.

However, the strike-rate of favourites in the race has left a little to be desired, with market leaders winning just half of the renewals since 2012. In fact, horses that have been second choice in the betting have had a much better recent record after winning three of the previous four editions of the Champion Chase.

Stat Three

The road to the Champion Chase is an important trend to consider with eight of the last 12 winners of the race having run in the Clarence House at Ascot. Jonbon finished second in the race this year after being edged out by Elixit De Nutz in the re-arranged contest at Cheltenham.

Editeur Du Gite is the only other runner from the Clarence House field that still holds a Champion Chase entry. Other trends worth considering are the fact that all previous winners of the Festival race have previously run over two miles, and all but one of the 12 victors in the race have had at least seven chase starts.

Stat Four

Classy horses tend to win the Champion Chase, with only two winners having won the race off lower than an official rating of 164. The lowest-rated winner was Put The Kettle On off 156 for trainer Henry De Bromhead in 2021.

Meanwhile, the highest-rated winner of the race was Sprinter Sacre off 179 in 2013. Interestingly, all 12 winners of the Champion Chase since 2012 have won in Grade One company on at least one occasion.

Stat Five

The Champion Chase is unlikely to boast a big field, and the stats indicate that runners with a proven record in smaller fields have a huge advantage. All 20 of the previous winners of the race have made their last start in a field consisting of no more than eight runners.

Meanwhile, all 12 winners of the race since 2012 have scored at least five wins over the bigger obstacles before landing the Champion Chase.

Prior Races and Trainers To Watch

Key races to keep in mind are the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House Chase. 12 of the last 16 winners had ran in either of those races in the current season.

Trainers to watch here are Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls. Between the two they have trained eight of the last 16 winners.

Value Angle - El Fabiolo

The betting would suggest that it will be a straight match between El Fabiolo and Jonbon in March, and the trends would certainly show weight to that argument. It is hard to overlook El Fabiolo’s chances for trainer Willie Mullins. The seven- year-old was incredible in a five-runner field at the Dublin Racing Festival, finishing eight lengths clear of Dinoblue in the G1 Dublin Chase.

He already has the measure of his market leader after finishing five lengths clear of Jonbon in the G1 Arkle last year. It’s hard to see that form being reversed on the evidence that we have seen this season.