Down Royal Champion Chase Odds

Road To Respect (left) won the 2019 renewal of the Down Royal Champion Chase for Noel Meade and Gigginstown House Stud.
Road To Respect (left) won the 2019 renewal of the Down Royal Champion Chase for Noel Meade and Gigginstown House Stud.

Run over a distance of three miles, the Grade 1 Down Royal Champion Chase regularly involves horses who harbour Cheltenham Gold Cup ambitions later in the season, and as such the betting market can be a lively one. You can find the odds for the 2020 renewal of the race a little closer to the time.

Down Royal Champion Chase Tips 

The Down Royal Champion Chase regularly features big names from the staying chasing division, and you can find our tip for the 2020 a little closer to the time. 

What is the Down Royal Champion Chase? 

Run over a distance of three miles, the Down Royal Champion Chase is a Grade 1 event held each year at Down Royal Racecourse in Northern Ireland, and is the first top level event of the Irish National Hunt season. It's regularly used as a starting point for Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup contenders, and was won by the great Kauto Star on two occasions, in 2008 and 2010. The race had a long running sponsorship with JNWine.com, though it is now backed by Ladbrokes. 

What happened in the 2019 Down Royal Champion Chase? 

Although the field for the 2019 renewal of the Champion Chase was small, it was a select line-up, featuring three top-class names in the form of last year's winner Road To Respect, the 2018 King George winner Clan Des Obeaux and the Grade 1-winning novice Delta Work. Road To Respect hadn't won a race since running out an emphatic 16-length winner of the 2018 renewal, but he'd largely held his own in some tough assignments, and he returned to winning ways in typically likeable fashion, taking up the lead two fences out and out-battling the English raider Clan Des Obeaux to win by four lengths. 

The history of the Down Royal Champion Chase 

Established in 1999, the race was initially contested over one furlong further, before having its distance revised a year later, and then being promoted to Grade 1 status in 2002. The race was sponsored by JNWine from its inception until the 2018 running, and Ladbrokes will now take over the naming rights. 

Some illustrious names have won the Down Royal Champion Chase over the years, beginning with the inaugural winner, Florida Pearl in 1999, who went on to win several high profile races during his career. Since then, the likes of Beef or Salmon, Kauto Star and Don Cossack have all won the race. 

Who is the most iconic winner of the Down Royal Champion Chase? 

Although some iconic names have won the Down Royal Champion Chase since its inception, it's difficult to ignore the presence of two-time winner Kauto Star on the roll of honour. A 16-time Grade 1-winner during his career, Kauto Star achieved pretty much everything there is to achieve in the sport, winning a record five renewals of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011) and he is also the winning most horse in the history of the Betfair Chase at Haydock to boot, with four wins (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011). On top of that, he is the only horse to ever regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup, doing so in 2009, having lost his crown to his old rival and stablemate Denman in 2008. The fact that Kauto Star used the Down Royal Champion Chase as the scene for his reappearance twice - winning on both occasions - shows just how high a regard it is held, and Kauto Star bowed out in his final season in 2011/12 by winning the King George for a fifth and final time, before being pulled-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup that following March.

Are there any trials for the Down Royal Champion Chase? 

There are no trials as such for the Down Royal Champion Chase, as it is traditionally used as a starting point for some of the top staying chasers in training. Runners who take their chance at Down Royal tend to aim for races such as the King George VI Chase at Kempton, the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Aintree Bowl later in the season. 

Who is the most successful jockey in the Down Royal Champion Chase? 

The most successful jockey in the history of the Down Royal Champion Chase is Ruby Walsh, with four wins. Walsh's four wins in the race were with Taranis (2007), Kauto Star (2008 & 2010) and Valseur Lido (2016).

Who is the most successful trainer in the Down Royal Champion Chase? 

The most successful trainer in the history of the Down Royal Champion Chase, surprisingly, is British-based Paul Nicholls, with four wins. Nicholls' four wins in the race came courtesy of Taranis (2007), Kauto Star (2008 & 2010) and Kauto Stone (2012).

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