Champion Chase Runners Guide: Ten go to post for Grade 1

Champion Chase Runners Guide: Chacun Pour Soi is a hot favourite to bag victory.
Champion Chase Runners Guide: Chacun Pour Soi is a hot favourite to bag victory.

Steve Chambers provides an in-depth Champion Chase Runners Guide, as ten go to post for the Grade 1 at the Cheltenham Festival...

1. Chacun Pour Soi

Top-class chaser who is making his Cheltenham Festival debut, Chacun Pour Soi kicked off his campaign with a facile 19-length win in the Hilly Way Chase, before cruising to a comfortable win at Leopardstown over Christmas in Grade 1 company. Beat a top notch field in the Dublin Chase in February, and providing he takes to the undulations of Prestbury Park then should be a tough nut to crack. Sets the standard.

Champion Chase
Chacun Pour Soi silk

Chacun Pour Soi


2. Cilaos Emery

Second string for Willie Mullins who warmed up for this event with a comfortable success at Naas last time out. Last seen at the Cheltenham Festival finishing seventh in the Champion Hurdle, and was well beaten by Bachasson two starts ago in the Clonmel Oil Chase. A smart performer on his day, but has work to do to get the better of stablemate Chacun Pour Soi, so place claims the best he can hope for.

Champion Chase
Cilaos Emery silk

Cilaos Emery


3. First Flow

Hugely progressive chaser for Kim Bailey, who has racked up a string of five wins on the bounce. The last of those came in the Clarence House Chase where he dished out a seven-length beating to reigning Champion Chase hero Politologue at Ascot. Pulled up in the 2018 Supreme in his only previous visit to Cheltenham, but has shown to be in the form of his life, so has to come into calculations with a repeat of that aforementioned Ascot run.

Champion Chase
First Flow silk

First Flow

Cheltenham Festival Tips

4. Greaneteen

A smart handicap chaser, who has blossomed into a Graded performer and showed his class when landing the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter at the start of the season.  Was comfortably beaten by stablemate Politologue in the Tingle Creek at Sandown next time out, while was no match for Sceau Royal and Cheltenham Gold Cup hopeful Champ in the Game Spirit Chase, so has to improve considerably to land a blow here.

Champion Chase
Greaneteen silk



5. Notebook

A Grade 1-winning novice chaser that disappointed when well fancied for last season's Arkle, but kicked off this season with a Grade 2 win at Naas. Was beaten by over six lengths by Chacun Pour Soi in late December, and was beaten even further when third to the Closutton inmate last time out at the Dublin Racing Festival, so it's hard to fancy him now taking on the Willie Mullins-trained hotpot for the third time this campaign.

Champion Chase
Notebook silk



6. Nube Negra

Smart novice chase form that ended with second placed finishes in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase and the Kingmaker Novices' Chase, but propelled into the Champion Chase picture with a three-and-a-half length victory over Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park in December. Needs to improve again, but is on the upgrade, so has to be respected.

Champion Chase
Nube Negra silk

Nube Negra


7. Politologue

Reigning champion who made all in last year's event and bids to retain his crown again. The Paul Nicholls-trained ten-year-old kicked off this season with a fine win in the Tingle Creek Chase, but failed to follow that up when dispatched by First Flow in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Proven top notch form at Cheltenham, so has to be regarded a key challenger for glory.

Champion Chase
Politologue silk



8. Rouge Vif

A Graded winning novice chaser, who ended last season finishing third in the Arkle. Started this campaign with an authoritative victory in a Cheltenham handicap chase, and Harry Whittington is now ready to unleash him at the highest level. Struggled to show his best in the Tingle Creek and Desert Orchid Chase, but a return to Prestbury Park could bring out the best in him.

Champion Chase
Rouge Vif silk

Rouge Vif


9. Sceau Royal

Classy dual-purpose performer who has been switching between hurdles and chases in recent seasons. Last of five in last year's Champion Chase, so is back for another crack, but bounced back from a fall in the Desert Orchid Chase by bounding to a fine victory in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last month. An eye-catching contender for Alan King.

Champion Chase
Sceau Royal silk

Sceau Royal


10. Put The Kettle On

Spectacular winner of the Arkle last season, who has a fabulous recent record at Cheltenham (won on last three visits). Failed to lay a glove on Chacun Pour Soi when third to the Irish charge in the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown in December, but will put up a better fight now returning to Prestbury Park. A lively each-way player.

Champion Chase
Put The Kettle On silk

Put The Kettle On

Cheltenham Gold Cup
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