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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Champion Chase

The feature race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival gets reviewed by the Cheltenham.co.uk team

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Put The Kettle On ridden by Aidan Coleman on their way to winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on day two of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Wednesday March 17, 2021.

A cracking renewal of the Champion Chase lies in wait on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, with several top-class contenders featuring in the Grade 1 two-mile contest.

SHISHKIN (8/13) is the deserving favourite, with Nicky Henderson’s star remaining unbeaten over the larger obstacles.

The eight-year-old breezed up in the Arkle last season, finishing 12 lengths in front of his nearest rival before producing a sparkling campaign to date this season.

Shishkin Cheltenham
Shishkin looks a major player in the Champion Chase at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival

His closest call came in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot, where he just got the better of ENERGUMENE (7/2) in an epic duel back in January.

Willie Mullins’ start looks one of Shishkin’s main threats in the contest, after making light work of his Irish counterparts in his three starts this year.

He looks the better value here and if he can find that length on Shishkin, then he could well end Mullins’ hoodoo in this contest.

Stablemate CHACUN POUR SOI (7/2) joins him, with the multiple Grade 1 winner aiming to put last year’s disappointment behind him.

The gelding was disappointing in the Tingle Creek back in December but he bounced back with a much better performance at the Dublin Racing Festival when scoring by 12 lengths.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Willie Mullins holds two trump cards in the Champion Chase this season

The 10-year-old is still yet to strike on British soil and he does have something to prove at Prestbury Park next week.

Last season’s heroine PUT THE KETTLE ON (16/1) could swerve the contest complete and head to the Mares’ Chase for Henry De Bromhead, with stablemates ENVOI ALLEN (20/1) and CAPTAIN GUINNESS (25/1) potentially holding some each-way value if connections opt to head here.

FUNAMBLE SIVOLA (14/1) produced a game performance in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last month but will need to find a bit more to be competitive here.

Last year’s runner-up NUBE NEGRA (10/1) returns to Cheltenham with interest after striking in the Shloer Chase back in November for Dan Skelton, while Venetia Williams’ FUNAMBLE SIVOLA (14/1) produced a game performance in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last month but will need to find a bit more to be competitive here.

2020 winner POLITOLOGUE (22/1) looks the strongest of Paul Nicholls’ hand with GREANETEEN (25/1) and HITMAN (33/1) holding entries for the Ditcheat trainer.

Gary Moore’s EDITEUR DU GITE (25/1), Kim Bailey’s FIRST FLOW (33/1) and Alan King’s SCEAU ROYAL (40/1) look the best of the remaining entries.

BEST SELECTIONS:

  • Energumene @ 7/2
  • Envoi Allen E/W @ 16/1
  • Captain Guinness E/W @ 25/1

*Odds courtesy of Spreadex and correct at time of writing

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.