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Champion Chase Trends: Shishkin stats suggest another Cheltenham win



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The feature race on the second of the Cheltenham Festival (Weds 16th March) is the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase as we look forward to seeing another of the so-called ‘Cheltenham Festival Bankers’ on show.

Step forward – Shishkin – who will be in many Cheltenham Festival doubles, trebles and accas over the festival as this Nicky Henderson looks to win his third straight race at this meeting.

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Yes, Shishkin is no stranger to winning at the Cheltenham Festival – he landed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2020 and then added the 2021 Arkle Chase to his Festival haul 12 months ago.

He’s returned this season to win the Desert Chase at Kempton over Christmas and recently got the better of Energumene in a classic renewal of the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Like most races at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, there are many key trends and stats to take into each contest.

Did You Know? Trainer Willie Mullins is yet to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Key Champion Chase Trends

  • 4 of the last 9 winners won the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) that season
  • 24 of the last 37 had won at the Festival before
  • Nicky Henderson has won 5 of the last 10
  • 27 of the last 35 winners aged between 7-9
  • 11 of the last 19 winners were second season chasers
  • 15 of the last 17 winners had run 2 or 3 times that season
  • 19 of the last 23 winners came from the top 3 in the betting

Champion Chase Trends – Main Runners (based on the seven main trends above)

SHISHKIN ✅✅✅✅✅✅✅                  Shishkin @ 4/5 with William Hill

ENERGUMENE ❌❌❌✅✅✅✅             Energumene @ 7/2 with William Hill

CHACUN POUR SOI ❌❌❌❌❌✅✅    Chacun Pour Soi @ 11/2 with William Hill

NUBE NEGRA ❌❌❌✅❌✅❌              Nube Negra @ 12/1 with William Hill

PUT THE KETTLE ON ❌✅❌✅❌✅❌   Put The Kettle On @ 33/1 With William Hill

FUNAMBULE SIVOLA ❌❌❌✅✅❌❌  Funambule Sivola @ 33/1 With William Hill

Note: Odds are subject to change

Plenty Of Champion Chase Positives For Shishkin

With a clean sweep ticking all seven of our main trends, then the Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin is hard to fault.

This 8 year-old is already a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner and from seven runs over fences is yet to lose a race.

He saw off his main rival here – Energumene – in a hard-fought win in the Clarence House Chase last time out – four of the last Champion Chase winners won that Ascot race before coming here.

The Champion Chase is also a race that trainer Nicky Henderson loves to win – the Seven Barrows man has landed this prize six times in total and 5 times in the last 10 years!

Back SHISHKIN @ 4/5 with William Hill

Trainer Willie Mullins Is Yet To Win The Champion Chase

Surprisingly, this Cheltenham Festival race has so far eluded the great Willie Mullins.

He even had the 8/13 favourite for the race 12 months ago with Chacun Pour Soi but could only manage a close third that day, behind Put The Kettle On.

While prior to last year, other notable Mullins runners to fail in his race have been Douvan and Min.

This year Mullins will be hoping for break his Champion Chase duck with Energumene and Chacun Pour Soi big players, but they will still have to get passed the unbeaten Shishkin.

A Trends Look at The Other Main Champion Chase Runners

Energumene @ 7/2 with William Hill Looked to have the measure of Shiskin in the Clarence House at Ascot last time out, but just got run out of things very late on. That was still a top effort to only go down by a length and many feel this Willie Mullins-trained 8 year-old can turn the tables.

However, in the build up to the race there have been reports of a minor training setback with a bruised foot and in the process drifted out in the ante-post market. The reports nearer to the race are that he’s fine, but of out seven main trends he still falls down on three.

Not winning the Clarence House, yet to win at the Festival and not being Henderson-trained are the three negatives, while – as already mentioned – this is a race that’s so far bypassed the Willie Mullins stable.

Chacun Pour Soi @ 11/2 with William Hill Third last year in the race – but sent off at 8/13 that day and even though he looked the winner up the hill, got out stayed by Nube Negra and the eventual winner – Put The Kettle On.

He’s since flopped in the Tingle Creek at odds on too, but bounced back in great style to win the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown in February.

Our trends see him fail on 5 of the 7 though – with only being one of the top three in the betting and having had two runs this season as pluses.

This 10 year-old also has the age trend to overcome – even though we saw Sprinter Sacre and Special Tiara win this race as 10 year-olds, since 2006 (16 runs) they are the only two aged 10 or older to win the Champion Chase.

The other concern would be that Chacun Pour Soi has raced twice outside Ireland and been beaten at odds on both times – maybe he’s just not a great traveller and a bit of a home bird!

Nube Negra @ 12/1 with William Hill Ran a blinder to be a close runner-up in this race 12 months ago and will be looking to go one better. This Alan King-trained 8 year-old has now won 4 of his 9 starts over fences and only been out of the first three once from 9 runs over the bigger obstacles.

However, the trends suggest he’s another with a bit to prove. He gets a ‘thumbs up’ on just two of our seven stats – age and having had just two runs this term.

He was also last seen running down the field in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December, but prior to that was a smooth 6 length winner here at Cheltenham in the Shloer Chase – the return to Prestbury Park would certainly be a plus though and he looks a live outsider for the each-way players.

Put The Kettle On @ 33/1 with William Hill It would be foolish to ignore the current champion in any Cheltenham Festival race – especially as they are likely to go off a big double-figure price! This Henry De Bromhead-trained mare loves Cheltenham and has won here four times from five runs now.

She’ll also get the handy 7lbs mares’ allowance again and with three wins in the race her trainer – Henry De Bromhead – is starting to make a name for himself in this day two feature.

The trends are a mixed bag – with three pluses from the seven. Festival winning form is a plus, as is her age (8) and having had just two runs this season.

Yes, she needs to bounce back from two average runs this season, but she had excuses both times. The first back in November was her first run for 204 days, while last time at Fairyhouse she was running over a much longer trip (2m5f)

If you don’t like backing odds on (Shishkin) then you can do little wrong playing each-way here.

Fumambule Sivola @ 33/1 with William HillA big improver this season for the Venetia Williams yard – winning his last two at Doncaster and last time out landed the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.

That Newbury race is often been a good trial ahead of the Champion Chase with the likes of Altior (2018), Master Minded (2008) and Azertyuiop (2004) winning both races in the same season.

The ratings suggest this 7 year-old will need to find a bit more, but he’s getting better with each race and last April – ran Shishkin to 3 1/4 lengths at Aintree in the Maghull Novices’ Chase. He’s clearly improved since then and could be a live outsider if lining up.

The trends see him have pluses for being a second season chaser and his age (7), but those against him will look to his only run at Cheltenham being a poor one when 9th (of 16) but that came over 2m4f and back will be more up his street.

Champion Chase Trends – The Pluses

  • 13 of the last 21 winners ran in the Tingle Creek Chase that season
  • 4 of the last 9 winners won the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) that season
  • 24 of the last 37 had won at the Festival before
  • Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson have won 9 of the last 14 between them
  • Nicky Henderson has won 5 of the last 10
  • 27 of the last 35 winners aged between 7-9
  • 14 of the last 20 winners won last time out
  • 16 of the last 19 winners had run that calendar year
  • 38 of the last 40 winners returned 10/1 or shorter
  • 15 of the last 22 winners returned 5/1 or shorter
  • 7 of the last 15 winners were French-bred
  • 11 of the last 19 winners were second season chasers
  • 15 of the last 17 winners had run 2 or 3 times that season
  • 19 of the last 23 winners came from the top 3 in the betting
  • 16 of the last 22 winners ran in the previous season’s Arkle or Champion Chase
  • 7 of the last 11 Arkle winners (previous season) to run have won
  • Past champions do well – 13 horses have won the CC more than once

Champion Chase Trends – The Negatives

  • Only two winners priced 11/1 or bigger in the last 38 years
  • Just 1 winner in last 17 had run 4+ times that season
  • Horses that didn’t run in that calendar year are 3-from-31
  • Top Irish trainer, Willie Mullins, is yet to win this race (0-from-12)
  • Just 1 of the last 20 winners hadn’t won a Grade 1 Chase before
  • 12 of the last 16 winners had run in no more than 16 chases
  • Be wary of horses older than 10 – just 2 winners since 1977
  • Only 3 winners aged 6 or younger in the last 47 years
  • Just one 11 year-old winner in the last 43 years
  • Just one Mare has ever won the race (Put The Kettle On, 2021)

Recent Cheltenham Festival Champion Chase Winners

2021 – PUT THE KETTLE ON (17/2)
2020 – POLITOLOGUE (6/1)
2019 – ALTIOR (4/11 fav)
2018 – ALTIOR (Evs)
2017 – SPECIAL TIARA (11/1)
2016 – SPRINTER SACRE (5/1)
2015 – DODGING BULLETS (9/2)
2014 – SIRE DE GRUGY (11/4 fav)
2013 – SPRINTER SACRE (1/4 fav)
2012 – FINIAN’S RAINBOW (4/1)
2011 – SIZING EUROPE (10/1)
2010 – BIG ZEB (10/1)
2009 – MASTER MINDED (4/11 fav)
2008 – MASTER MINDED (3/1)
2007 – VOY POR USTEDES (5/1)
2006 – NEWMILL (16/1)
2005 – MOSCOW FLYER (6/4 fav)
2004 – AZERTYUIOP (15/8 fav)
2003 – MOSCOW FLYER (7/4 fav)

More Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips

Champion Chase Trends
Cheltenham NAP of the Day
Cheltenham Day Two Tips
Cheltenham Placepot Tips
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Cheltenham Banker and Blowouts Day Two Tips
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