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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 15th March 2023

1 Energumene 6/5F
2 Captain Guinness 12/1
3 Greaneteen 25/1
7 ran Distances: 10l, 24l, ¾l
Time: 3m 57.25s (slow by 5.25s)

Energumene justified 6-5 favouritism to become the 13th dual winner of the two-mile Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase as he repeated his success of 2022.

Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: “Paul had a very positive frame of mind going out. He said he was going to jump off up there. He thought everyone was going to be very tight and he wanted to be away fast and that is the way the race worked out. He had it right and the horse loved the ground and jumping. He was just brilliant on the day and Paul was just brilliant on him. I was way more confident coming into this year’s race as we hadn’t got Shishkin to take on and we thought if there was any improvement from the Clarence House that with hopefully with a clear round he would win.

“Paul came home from the Clarence House and said they won’t beat us again. The horse’s work and jumping and everything has been brilliant. We were just fingers crossed for a clear round. It did (exceed my expectations how he did it). I was hoping to win but the way he did it was something else. It (did help coming here last times) as he just propped at the first one and that just upset him. This time around we schooled him hugely over white fences and it didn’t worry him today.

“We tried to make him a two and a half mile chaser but his jumping was so slick we decided to come back to two miles with him. It looks like he has improved from last year. What can I say, hopefully he will hold that form until next year. I’ll be praying for this sort of weather this time next year. The whole game plan will be to work back from this next year.”


Successful jockey Paul Townend said: “That was easy, to be honest. I got in a lovely rhythm on him, after the first two fences he was taking them on, he was quick at them, and it was simple - it was just a matter of keeping him in a rhythm after that.

“He allowed me to ride him more forward [than in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot] because he took on his fences better today. Looser ground  probably helped as well and played a factor in it, but he was just more forward. He felt a different horse today.

“He had a little reach at the fence three out, I think it was - those championship two-milers, they are supposed to be running like that, though. It was a dream ride and I was able to take it all in coming up the straight, which doesn’t usually happen in those championship races.”

Asked to compare yesterday’s Arkle Chase winner El Fabiolo and Energumene, Townend replied with a smile: “I’m not going to. I’m just going to enjoy the Champion Chaser at this moment in time.”

Henry de Bromhead, trainer of runner-up Captain Guinness (12-1), said: “I’m absolutely delighted. We came here hoping we’d hit the frame and we have. It was a brilliant run and he jumped great and the winner was just too good for us. The winner was so impressive but I’m delighted for the Landy family (Declan Landy, owner), they’re all here so they’ve had a great day out. Rachael just said he was deadly and did everything right for her. We were hoping to get place and we’ve done that. We’re really happy.”

Trainers Quotes

Rachael Blackmore, Captain Guinness’ jockey, added: “He ran a super race, delighted. He is a great horse. He’s hitting the crossbar, but that’s a great result for him today.”

Paul Nicholls, trainer of the third-placed Greaneteen (25-1), said: “I’m thrilled with him. He was travelling beautifully until he made that mistake and I thought that was the end then, but Harry (Cobden) has just let him coast home. We’ve picked up 30 odd grand for our troubles and who knows we might’ve finished second if we hadn’t have had that error – though we wouldn’t have beaten the winner. He’s run very well today and we thought he might run a bit better than Newbury and now all roads will lead to Sandown now for him. That will be his race.”

Greaneteen’s jockey Harry Cobden said: “He was very lucky to get away with that error. It was a fair mistake at the ditch at the top of the hill so I just thought we’d regather and try and fill him back up and see if we can nick some place money. He’s done very well to get back into the race – I know the winner has absolutely scooted up – but he’s pinched £35,000 for finishing third and that’s much better than a P/U next to his name.

“I was going nicely (when he made the error), I definitely wasn’t going as well as Energumene. I think I might have troubled Rachael (Blackmore, on Captain Guinness) for second, but no complaints and we’ll go to Sandown now for the Celebration Chase. He loves that race and that will be his Champion Chase.”

Sean Houlihan, jockey of the fourth-placed Editeur Du Gite (13-2), said: “He ran his heart out, that ground probably wasn’t his best. The drizzle all day has just made it a bit soft and he was starting to feel it down the back straight. All credit to the horse.”

Alan King said of Edwardstone, who disappointed in fifth behind Energumene:" I have never been happier with him and he has never missed a day at home, but he was beaten after two fences and just never going at any stage of the race.

"I cannot blame the ground as he has won on it before - I  just don't know what it is, i am at a total loss. But something must be amiss and hopefully something will come to light."

Edwardstone’s jockey Tom Cannon said: “It wasn’t his day. Maybe the ground was a bit soft for him, but he just didn’t really fire at them today. He seems ok, but maybe just back to the drawing board and see where we go from there. He can always be a bit cold over his first couple of fences, so I wasn’t too worried early on, but he normally warms into the race well.

“When we jumped the ditches down the back I had to give him a squeeze at one and he made a real effort for me to get there, that’s a bit unlike him. I was holding on to nothing at the top of the hill and all credit to the horse that he actually took me into contention three out, as I was holding on to nothing.”

Harry Skelton, rider of Nube Negra (pulled-up) said: “He just struggled on the ground today, but there we go. The winner was very good.”

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

1     Energumene 9 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 6/5F
10 Captain Guinness 8 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 12/1
24 Greaneteen 9 11-10 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 25/1
¾ Editeur Du Gite 9 11-10 Gary Moore Niall Houlihan 13/2
29 Edwardstone 9 11-10 Alan King Tom Cannon 15/8
FELL Funambule Sivola 8 11-10 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 50/1
PU Nube Negra 9 11-10 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 28/1



Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2022 Energumene 8 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend Tony Bloom 5/2
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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