RACING anorak Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) analyses the field for the highlight of on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
3:30 Cheltenham | Queen Mother Champion Chase | ITV1
The Queen Mother Champion Chase to me is the race of the meeting. There is no shortage of talent in this line-up and if everyone turns up 100% then this could go down in history.
However, there are niggling doubts about some of the main protagonists and it could flatter to deceive.
Douvan (3/1 BetBright) was the highest-rated chaser in training this time last year and came into this race odds-on. But he flopped badly and ended up picking up an injury. That was the last time we’ve seen him on the track and he was meant to miss the Festival this year too.
However, he’s recovered, is meant to be working well and is the choice of Ruby Walsh. He is obviously feared, but I can’t back him.
Altior (1/1 BetBright) looked set to take Douvan’s crown as the top-rated chaser after his Arkle win but a breathing issue means we’ve only seen him once this year. He won well and looked set to start odds-on here before being found lame on Sunday.
With that doubt in my mind, he’s opposable, but begrudgingly so.
Min (7/2 BetBright) missed the Arkle through injury last year and he’s still unbeaten over fences. He was very impressive at Christmas and has fewer questions to answer than his two rivals.
He loves soft ground and his form leaves him with only a little to find. I’ve backed him.
3:30 Cheltenham | Queen Mother Champion Chase – Min to win (7/2 BetBright)