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Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
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Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£400,000 added,
5yo plus,
1m 7f 199y, Class 1  
Wednesday 14th March 2018

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A quite sensational performance from Altior

1 Altior EvsF
2 Min 5/2
3 God's Own 40/1
9 ran Distances: 7l, 11l, 5l
Time: 4m 7.60s (slow by 15.60s)

© Racehorse Photos
Nicky Henderson's brilliant Altior proved himself the king of two-milers when running out an emphatic winner.
Ridden by Nico De Boinville for owner Patricia Pugh, the eight-year-old even-money winner beat Min and God's Own by seven lengths and 11 lengths. Fancied Douvan fell four fences from the finish when travelling well in the lead, and while Altior had been under pressure running down the hill he produced a turbo surge and ran away from his rivals in the home straight.
Altior needed a wind operation earlier this season, then had a slight touch of lameness two days ago, but following his 60th Festival winner, Henderson said: "If we had been beaten I wouldn't have used a sore foot as an excuse. It's been a tough season and he's been missing out on races, but he's so good - he's just got gears, and Nico was great because they were going a good gallop and he kept calm.
"To watch the horse do that, well, he was electric. In behind he wasn't doing that much, but getting lots of cover and getting a very cool ride. For a second he looked in trouble and I thought 'This isn't going to happen', but as soon as he saw daylight he knew where he was going.
"To find those gears in that ground off that pace, you have to be pretty good. It was a great race on paper, and I'm glad to hear that Douvan and also Charbel [who fell] are alright.
"We've been lucky enough to be down this road many times and it's 90 per cent relief and 10 per cent joy."
No trainer has saddled the winners of the Unibet Champion Hurdle, Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at one Festival, but Henderson has the last-named race's ante-post favourite in Might Bite.
He said: "It's funny how champions come around in the same breath, but I feel they help each other - if you have good horses they make good horses. But everyone at home has worked so hard this season during all the weather - I've got a really good team who have done everything.
"It's strange that Altior has come around so soon after Sprinter Sacre [who won two Betway Queen Mother Champion Chases]. This horse is very, very good, and I always said he had very big shoes to fill, but each time he wins he gets closer to doing that. We will never forget Sprinter, who tugged at heartstrings in a way this horse might never do, but if he wins again he might. Sprinter was such a show-off and a swank, and he won this race by a distance, although I'm not sure he beat horses as good as the runners in today's race."

Betway Casino £1000

BetWay Queen Mother Champion Chase
£400,000 added, 5yo plus, 1m 7f 199y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Soft, Heavy in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Altior (IRE) Evsf Nico de Boinville
N J Henderson 8
2nd 7 Min (FR) 5/2 P Townend
W P Mullins 7
3rd 11 God's Own (IRE) 40/1 P J Brennan
T R George 10
4th 5 Politologue (FR) 12/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
P F Nicholls 7
5th 12 Ordinary World (IRE) 40/1 D N Russell
H de Bromhead 8
PU Ar Mad (FR) 50/1 Joshua Moore
G L Moore 8
PU Special Tiara 25/1 N D Fehily
H de Bromhead 11
F Charbel (IRE) 28/1 David Bass
K C Bailey 7
F Douvan (FR) 9/2 Mr P W Mullins
W P Mullins 8

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Willie Mullins, trainer of the second home 5/2 chance Min, who lost nothing in a seven-length defeat to the evens favourite Altior, was upbeat after the race.
Mullins said: "I am delighted with him, he came with what I thought was a winning run but Altior found another gear when I thought he looked beaten as they came down the hill.
"I was surprised to see Altior coming back around horses - he flew up the hill and we were going away from the third horse. It was a huge performance from the winner.
Mullins also trained Douvan, who fell earlier in the race: "He crashed out early enough.
"I thought he had done enough to show that he was back to himself. He was absolutely cantering, jumping great and I thought he was jumping so well and then he over-jumped and just caught the top of it.
"I thought it was a huge positive from my point of view looking at it [the way he ran].
"I think both horse and rider (son Patrick) are fine, I saw them both walking back.
"Maybe there will be Punchestown for him."
Rich Ricci, owner of both the Walk In The Park geldings, Min and Douvan, reflected: "The winner is exceptional - the race was over in three strides, yet he (Nico de Boinville) had been niggling at him down the back. Earlier in the race he had to hit him down the shoulder.
"Talking to Paul (Townend) he thought he had it as well, he came swinging and cruising, my horse ran a fantastic race but my god what a monster the winner is. We use that word a lot but he really is something special. A spectacular winner.
"Douvan was going well."
Paul Townend, rider of Min, added: "I am disappointed."
Paul Nicholls, who trained the fourth home Politologue, said: "I thought we were going to finish third. He just finished a bit weak for my liking. I am a bit disappointed he didn't gallop from the back of the last and finish third.
"He never seems to run that well around this track, I think he gets a bit stressy before the race and uses up a lot of energy. It might be that this is his level - it is all food for thought.
"He has run really well but I don't think it is his best run by a long way. It might be that he wants better ground and that he might get that at Aintree over two and a half miles.
"This place just might not suit him, three years this has happened, it might be spring ground suits him better."


Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2017 Special Tiara 10-11-10 Noel Fehily Henry de Bromhead Sally Rowley-Williams 11/1 10
2016 Sprinter Sacre 10-11-10 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Caroline Mould 5/1 10
2015 Dodging Bullets 7-11-10 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls Martin Broughton & Friends 9/2 9
2014 Sire De Grugy 8-11-10 Jamie Moore Gary Moore The Preston Family & Friends Ltd 11/4F 11
2013 Sprinter Sacre 7-11-10 Barry Geraghty N J Henderson 1/4 7
2012 Finian's Rainbow 9-11-10 Barry Geraghty N J Henderson 4/1 6
2011 Sizing Europe 9-11-10 Andrew Lynch Henry de Bromhead IRE Ann & Alan Potts 10/1 11
2010 Big Zeb 9-11-10 Barry Geraghty Colm Murphy IRE Pat Redmond 10/1 9
2009 Master Minded 6-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 4/11F 12
2008 Master Minded 5-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Clive Smith 3/1 8
2007 Voy Por Ustedes 6-11-10 Robert Thornton Alan King Sir Robert Ogden 5/1 10
2006 Newmill 8-11-10 Andrew McNamara John Murphy IRE Mary Hayes 16/1 12
2005 Moscow Flyer 11-11-10 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 6/4F 8
2004 Azertyuiop 7-11-10 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 15/8 8
2003 Moscow Flyer 9-12-00 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington IRE Brian Kearney 7/4F 11
2002 Flagship Uberalles 8-12-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Elizabeth Gutner/Michael Krysztofiak 7/4F 12
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Edredon Bleu 8-12-00 Tony McCoy Henrietta Knight Jim Lewis 7/2 9
1999 Call Equiname 9-12-00 Mick Fitzgerald Paul Nicholls Mick Coburn,Paul Barber,Colin Lewis 7/2 13
1998 One Man 10-12-00 Brian Harding Gordon Richards John Hales 7/2 8
1997 Martha’s Son 10-12-00 Rodney Farrant Tim Forster Paddy Hartigan/Michael Ward-Thomas 9/1 6
1996 Klairon Davis 7-12-00 Francis Woods Arthur Moore IRE Chris Jones 9/1 7
1995 Viking Flagship 8-12-00 Charlie Swan David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 5/2F 10
1994 Viking Flagship 7-12-00 Adrian Maguire David Nicholson Roach Foods Ltd 4/1 8
1993 Deep Sensation 8-12-00 Declan Murphy Josh Gifford Robin Eliot 11/1 9
1992 Remittance Man 8-12-00 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Jim Collins Evs F 6
1991 Katabatic 8-12-00 Simon McNeill Andrew Turnell Pell-Mell Partners 9/1 7
1990 Barnbrook Again 9-12-00 Hywel Davies David Elsworth Mel Davies 11/10F 9
1989 Barnbrook Again 8-12-00 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth Mel Davies 7/4F 8
1988 Pearlyman 9-12-00 Tom Morgan John Edwards Valerie Shaw 15/8F 8
1987 Pearlyman 8-12-00 Peter Scudamore John Edwards Valerie Shaw 13/8F 8
1986 Buck House 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Mouse Morris IRE Mrs Phil Purcell 5/2 11
1985 Badsworth Boy 10-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Monica Dickinson Doug Armitage 11/8 5
1984 Badsworth Boy 9-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 8/13F 10
1983 Badsworth Boy 8-12-00 Robert Earnshaw Michael Dickinson Doug Armitage 2/1 6
1982 Rathgorman 10-12-00 Kevin Whyte Michael Dickinson J Lilley 100/30 9
1981 Drumgora 9-12-00 Frank Berry Arthur Moore IRE D Monahan 25/1 9
1980 *Another Dolly 10-12-00 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Ian Urquhart 33/1 7
1979 Hilly Way 9-12-00 Mr Ted Walsh Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 9
1978 Hilly Way 8-12-00 Tommy Carmody Peter McCreery IRE J W Sweeney 7/1 10
1977 Skymas 12-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 7/2 8
1976 Skymas 11-12-00 Mouse Morris Brian Lusk IRE Mathew Magee 8/1 7
1975 Lough Inagh 8-12-00 Sean Barker Jim Dreaper IRE A Martin 100/30 8
1974 Royal Relief 10-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 6/1 6
1973 Inkslinger 6-12-00 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Mrs M Jenney 6/1 6
1972 Royal Relief 8-12-00 Bill Smith Edward Courage Edward Courage 15/8 5
1971 Crisp 8-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Sir Chester Manifold 3/1 8
1970 Straight Fort 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 7/4F 6
1969 Muir 10-12-00 Ben Hannon Tom Dreaper IRE Waring Willis 15/2 11
1968 Drinny’s Double 10-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 6/1 5
1967 Drinny’s Double 9-12-00 Frank Nash Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 7/2 8
1966 Flyingbolt 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 1/5F 6
1965 Dunkirk 8-12-00 Dave Dick Peter Cazalet Bill Whitbread 8/1 6
1964 Ben Stack 7-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Anne, Duchess of Westminster 2/1 5
1963 Sandy Abbot 8-12-00 Stan Mellor George Owen Mrs J D McKechnie 5/1 5
1962 Piperton 8-12-00 Dave Dick Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100/6 7
1961 Fortria 9-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 2/5F 5
1960 Fortria 8-12-00 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE George Ansley 15/8F 7
1959 Quita Que 10-12-00 Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Mrs D R Brand 4/9F 9

*Another Dolly finished second to Chinrullah, who was subsequently disqualified after failing a post-race urine test

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