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Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
Cheltenham Free Bets
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£400,000 guaranteed,
5yo plus,
1m 7f 199y, Class 1  
Wednesday 16th March 2022

1 Energumene 5/2
2 Funambule Sivola 40/1
3 Envoi Allen 10/1
7 ran NR: Nube Negra
Distances: 8½l, 4½l, 12l Time: 4m 6.27s (slow by 14.27s)

The Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin never travelled with any fluency at the back of the pack and was pulled up by Nico de Boinville after jumping the sixth from home.

Energumene was always travelling well, despite the very soft ground, and once Chacun Pour Soi had exited when going well toward the head of affairs at the fifth last, Paul Townend’s job appeared much simpler.

Energumene, who had lost his unbeaten record at Ascot, had last year’s winner Put The Kettle On in his sights and turning in, had beaten off the mare.

He picked off Envoi Allen and once setting sail two out, it was Funambule Sivola who gave vain chase in second, although he was soon in Townend’s rear-view mirror.

The eight-year-old went on to beat his six rivals by eight and a half lengths, with Envoi Allen a further four and a half lengths back in third.

Trainers Quotes

Willie Mullins – winning the race for the first time – said: “We just thought we got the tactics completely wrong at Ascot so the plan today was to follow Shishkin.

“The problem Paul then had was you could see after two fences Shishkin wasn’t handling the ground so it then became a case of when was Paul going to forget about Shishkin and ride the race. Nico was wise in pulling Shishkin up, you could clearly see he hated the ground.

“I was very disappointed to see Chacun Pour Soi go out of the race when he did. I was gutted for Patrick (Mullins) because he appeared to be loving it. He might have given him a race.

“At every stage, though, Energumene seemed to be cantering and these extreme conditions suit him.

“He probably has more speed than we thought, at Ascot we felt after the race we should have waited rather than make all.

“That was the only plan I could come up with to turn the tables on Shishkin.

“It was a bit of an anti-climax for the neutrals but it was more nerve-wracking for me because you could see he was travelling the whole way.”

He added: “It’s great to finally win it, it’s great for Paul and great for Tony Bloom (owner). When the rain came he began to get very confident.”

Townend said: “I was on a very good horse and you can make it look easy then. He’d won on very heavy ground in Ireland so that wasn’t going to worry us.

“It didn’t work in Ascot and the tactics kind of went out the window early on (here) as well, he was enjoying himself. I let him jump up there and just kept holding on to him.”

Bloom, who is the owner of Brighton & Hove Albion football club, said: “I did believe, I believe in Willie and in Paul Townend, who rode a magnificent race. The rain really helped us, we were praying for rain and were all getting really wet, but we’re delighted to be wet.

“He’s an amazing horse and we were confident going in, he’s won the Champion Chase and it’s brilliant.

“We were very excited, four or five out we were getting very confident. Obviously Shishkin pulled up and that made it a lot easier for us, but full credit to Energumene. A brilliant horse, we’re having a great time.”

Of Shiskin’s run, Henderson said: “He wasn’t where he wanted to be and I knew why, he just couldn’t get out of it (the ground).

“We’re in very extreme ground, yes he’s won on soft ground but you’re going round in heavy ground.

“That is not his scene, obviously.”

Henry de Bromhead said of Envoi Allen and Put The Kettle on: “I thought Envoi ran a cracker, I wouldn’t have mind seeing him on better ground.

“His wind just catches him out, especially on that ground, but I thought he ran a blinder, he jumped really well.

“The mare (Put The Kettle On) was a little bit disappointing.”

BetWay Queen Mother Champion Chase
£400,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 1m 7f 199y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Soft

POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1     Energumene 8 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 5/2
2
Funambule Sivola 7 11-10 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 40/1
3
Envoi Allen 8 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 10/1
4
12 Politologue 11 11-10 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 80/1
5
Put The Kettle On 8 11-3 Henry De Bromhead Aidan Coleman 20/1
PU Shishkin 8 11-10 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 5/6F
UR Chacun Pour Soi 10 11-10 W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 8/1
NR 5 Nube Negra 8 11-10 Dan Skelton NON RUNNER

Free Racing Tips

QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2021 Put The Kettle On 7 11-3 Henry De Bromhead Aidan Coleman One For Luck Racing Syndicate 17/2 9
2020 Politologue 9-11-10 Harry Skelton Paul Nicholls John Hales 6/1 5
2019 Altior 9-11-10 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh 4/11F 9
2018 Altior 8-11-10 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh EvsF 9
2017 Special Tiara10-11-10 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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