Cheltenham Champion Chase Betting Odds

With billions of pounds turned over annually on the sport of kings, horse racing really is one of the most popular events for punters to place a wager, be that midweek low-grade racing or at the other end of the spectrum such as Grade 1 races like the Cheltenham Champion Chase.

There are vast opportunities for people to get involved in horse racing betting, meaning that the different markets available can suit different people’s interests.

There are multiple race meetings on virtually every day of the year, while the major races such as the Champion Chase only come round once a year meaning there is excitement and trepidation all year round in anticipation.

Along with the sheer quantity of racing on offer, there are also many different types of bets available for punters to delve into such as the number of lengths a horse is victorious by, or the exact finishing order of horses taking home gold, silver, and bronze.

However, the main form of betting is simply to back a horse to win – otherwise known as a straight bet – which in the Champion Chase can mean just as much to a winning backer as seeing their favourite horse that they have followed all season cross the finishing line with their head in front.

Cheltenham Champion Chase

Cheltenham is the highlight of the Jump racing calendar and is where the best horses over obstacles from Britain, Ireland, and France can be seen.

In 2019 the prize money on offer for the four-day festival was over £4.5million making it the most of any Jump festival in the world.

There are 28 races spread across the four days with 15 of those being classified Grade 1, the highest rating a race can have, the quality on show is truly second to none.

Cheltenham itself is in Gloucestershire and has become synonymous with the racing that takes place there each year, with many traveling from far and wide to see the action in person.

There is no greater following from abroad than the Irish contingent that arrives in their droves every year.

The importance of Cheltenham continues to grow and can be judged by its importance to punters, according to bookmakers in 2019 the Jumps extravaganza accounted for 25 of the top 40 betting races of the year by turnover.

The first running of the Champion Chase came in 1959 and was originally called the National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase.

The race is the leading minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the second day of the festival.

It has Grade 1 status and is open to horses aged five years or older, it is run on the Old Course over a distance of 2 miles with 13 obstacles to be negotiated on the way round.

Current Top 5 To Win The Cheltenham Champion Chase

Shishkin – A winner at Cheltenham last year in The Arkle, Shishkin looks set to be one of the most fancied horses this year to take the Champion Chase.

He is the new kid on the block hailing from Seven Barrows and trained by Nicky Henderson, the same yard as two legends of the two-mile chase division in Altior and Sprinter Sacre. He will have an enormous amount of pressure as the current favourite, but there would be no more popular winner.

Energumene – The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old is the second favourite and looks to be the real danger to Shishkin. Owned by Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom, the gelding could continue Ireland’s domination at the Festival if getting the beating of Henderson’s charge.

Chacun Pour Soi – Willie Mullins also trains the third favourite in the race, the Rich Ricci-owned horse was the odds-on favourite to take the race this year having been dominant all season before.

However, the famous Cheltenham hill proved too testing for the gelding and instead finished third. If any man can bring about the improvement required for Chacun, though, it’ll be Ireland’s top trainer, Willie Mullins.

Envoi Allen – There were big hopes for Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham this year. However, he fell early and will be looking to bounce back here as the current fourth favourite.

Yet, it’s important to note that this is one of four entries at the Cheltenham Festival and it’s not very likely he’ll be contesting this race if connections think a win might be likelier elsewhere.

Greaneteen – Paul Nicholls saddles the current fifth favourite. Greaneteen has already beaten one legend of the division in his career, Altior. Although he may just lack the class required in this field.

Horses Racing Betting Strategy For The Champion Chase

It’s no surprise given the quality that is on show in the Champion Chase that it can be hard to find winners with value.

Horses may have proven themselves throughout the season at different tracks but when they arrive at Cheltenham, they can find the unique course not to their liking.

So, when it comes to punting at Jump racing’s spiritual home, it is important to have a clear strategy be that in the shape of course form, race trends, or owner/trainer/jockey combinations.

If a horse has proven Cheltenham to be to their liking, they may be a more favourable option to place a portion of your hard-earned cash on than a horse that for all its great form has only been to Cheltenham once and didn’t look to enjoy the experience.

Chacun Pour Soi is the perfect example of a horse not taking to Cheltenham’s testing uphill finish and in a race of this nature where speed is everything, it’s also important to look for those that can also see out their races.

In the Champion Chase it can pay to look at trends from years gone by, trainers and some notable owners can favour certain races against others.

For example, Nicky Henderson, as previously mentioned, clearly loves finding a horse that will be suited to this unique test and he will campaign those horses accordingly.

Shishkin will follow a similar prep to that of Altior and Sprinter Sacre in years gone by, and that is a proven formula that can suit horses of this nature.

Notable Winners Of The Cheltenham Champion Chase

The Champion Chase will always be linked with certain horses that have captured the public’s imagination over the years, be that from unlikely success stories to years of sheer dominance at the top level.

There is only really one horse that can be mentioned when talking about notable winners, and that is the horse that pulled on everyone’s heartstrings, Sprinter Sacre.

After being acquired and then brought over from France, Sprinter Sacre was sent to Seven Barrows, the Lambourn home of leading trainer Nicky Henderson.

He went on to prove himself as the outstanding two-mile chaser of the century to date, recording emphatic wins in the Tingle Creek, Melling Chase, Punchestown Champion Chase, and of course the Cheltenham Champion Chase.

Sprinter then unfortunately suffered a series of health, heart, and injury problems and failed to win in his next two seasons, during which he only made four racecourse appearances.

However, in the following season, he made a miraculous return to form and was unbeaten in four races before taking a second Champion Chase which seemed all but an impossible dream the year before.

Notable Cheltenham Champion Chase Stories

There is one man in racing that will forever be associated with the Champion Chase and that’s the aforementioned trainer Nicky Henderson.

He is currently the joint-leading trainer of the race with six wins and his charge Shishkin is the current favourite to take next year’s renewal.

If victory comes for Henderson, he will make history by becoming the only trainer to take this race seven times.

When Sprinter Sacre was retired it was Henderson’s horse Altior that picked up the mantel in the two-mile chase division and dominated all opposition until his retirement earlier this year.

Popular Horse Racing Bets

There are many different types of bets on horse racing and when deciding to bet on a horse race it is important to note this as a horse doesn’t always need to find itself in the winners’ enclosure for punters to see a return on their stake.

The most common bet is a straight bet which is when you are simply betting on something to happen and in the case of horse racing, you are betting on a horse to win a race.

Another common wager type is a forecast. This requires you to pick the first and second horses to finish in a race. This can be a straight forecast which is the 1-2 in the correct order, or a reverse forecast which is where it doesn’t matter what order the selected horses finish in.

The final commonly-used bet type is a tricast. The aim of this type of bet is to back the three horses that finish first, second and third in a selected race. This is obviously very tricky so the returns for punters can be significantly higher than other bet types.