ALTIOR looks ready to join the exclusive club of four-time Festival winners.
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle and the Betway Champion Chase have all been plundered by Nicky Henderson’s ace two-miler.
It’s hard to see how he won’t defend his crown and notch up an incredible 18th straight victory.
Simply the best. Unbeaten in 17 starts over hurdles and fences. Probably not at his best in this last year but still stormed home by seven lengths after looking in trouble. Going for his fourth straight Festival victory and it’s hard to see how he won’t succeed.
Castlegrace Paddy 2/5
Castle ruin. Promising novice last year but brushed aside by Footpad when upped to the top grade at Punchestown. Not disgraced in good race over Christmas but fell at the first last time. Looks to be here to make up the numbers.
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God’s Own 3/5
Good God. Might have won this prize two years ago if he hadn’t made mistakes at the last two fences. Returned with a nice Exeter win and was giving Charbel weight when runner-up to him at Huntingdon. Goes well fresh but he would have preferred better ground. Could match last year’s third.
Hell’s Kitchen 2/5
Stay out of the Kitchen. Blows hot and cold but showed what he can do when landing an Ascot handicap just before Christmas. That form has worked out but the race did fall nicely for him. Not convinced he’s up to this level and he’s not certain to bring his A-game.
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Wait for Min. Had no answer to Altior’s final surge when runner-up in this last year. Beat the rest convincingly and he’s not been troubled to win both his races this season. Needs Altior to under-perform to win but every chance of filling second spot again.
Ordinary World 1/5
Rank Ordinary. Sole chase win came more than two years ago. Far from disgraced in Grade 1 races on his last two starts but comfortably held all the same. Distant fifth in this race 12 months ago and he’ll do well to repeat that finishing position.
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Pol tax. Little doubt about his class with two Grade 1 wins to his name. The latest came when a neck too good for Min at Aintree last spring. Didn’t stay 3m in the King George and blown away by stablemate Cyrname at Ascot. The biggest worry is he seems to dislike this track.
Saint Calvados 2/5
Saint’s a sinner. Created a great impression when winning three novices’ chases after arriving from France last season. Went off way too quick in the Arkle but returned with a good victory at Naas. The wheels have fallen off a bit since and I’m not convinced this track suits him.
Sceau Royal 4/5
Sceau with the flow. Smart hurdler who took well to fences last season. Injury ruled him out of last year’s Cheltenham Festival but he returned with a good course-and-distance win. Found the ground too soft in the Tingle Creek and that’s again a worry. Nice hurdles prep and could hit the frame.
Templegate's top pinstickers tips for the Champion Chase
ALTIOR (Click here to compare prices and place your bet)