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Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05

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Former champ still has solid profile

WEDNESDAY 3.05 BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE

JAMES HILL

Trends analysis Previous Grade 1 winners have now won in 18 of the last 19 years With no Altior or Chacun Pour Soi and Defi Du Seuil running a stinker, it was no surprise that last year’s victor Politologue was a proper stats buster, although this was one of the few trends he still fitted. It is pretty unusual to find a leading two-miler who has yet to win at the top level. Politologue’s victory also enhanced the Tingle Creek’s reputation as the strongest trial for this. Paul Nicholls’ grey finished fifth at Sandown last term and previous to that he’d been second in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting. The Shloer is becoming a really good guide. Run over the same course and distance, five of the last seven Champion Chase winners had run in the Grade 2 that same season. Something that goes under the radar in this race is hurdles form. You actually don’t get that many high-class hurdlers transferring their ability to fences, but those who do have done well in this race, especially those who recorded an RPR of 160-plus over the smaller obstacles. Verdict Nothing stands out, but Altior still has a solid profile despite his advancing years. The Altior of old would be difficult to beat, not just because of what he has achieved over fences; a hurdles RPR of 166 shows he’s always been a class act.

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Cheltenham - The Ultimate Guide

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