The Ultimate Test
Widely regarded as one of the richest prizes in National hunt racing, the Queen Mother Chase puts jumping and speed to the ultimate test, culminating in test of stamina in the famous Cheltenham hill.
The long list of winners of the illustrious prize throws up names that literally send shivers down the spine. Last year saw Special Tiara and Noel Fehily take advantage of the rarest of phenomenons, an out of sorts Douvan.
The Willie Mullins machine went off a staggering 2/9 on but hit every fence before being pulled up.
The comeback Kid wins the Queen Mother
In 2016 the racing world witnessed one of the greatest sporting comebacks of recent years! Many regard Sprinter Sacre as the greatest chaser of our time, and after a series of health problems culminating in him missing the best part of two seasons, many feared we wouldn’t see him grace the track again. Trainer Nicky Henderson literally performed miracles, and Sprinter was once again ready to turn out at the homes of jump racing to take on out and out favourite un De Sceaux, the rest as they say is History.
Dodging Bullets took the race 2015, and before that saw arguably one of the most popular wins from Sire De Grugy and the Moore family. Everyone loves a good story and the performance of Sire certainly provided one that year. Owned by Steve Preston and his family, Sire struck an incredible relationship with trainer Gary Moore’s son Jamie, and the bond was clear for all to see.
Altior the wonder horse
So who next? If like me you are team Altior, the odds suggest we will not be disappointed at this years festival. Nicky Henderson’s wonder horse is unbeaten over obstacles so far, and after a successful re appearance following a wind op where he put Politilogue in his place, he seems certain to run a huge race next week.
It will come as no surprise that the biggest danger is likely to come from the Willie Mullins yard, where Min will look to turn the tables after defeat in the Supreme Novice two year ago. Mullins has so far also refused to rule out Douvan being ready for the race, though the sceptics such as myself will believe it when it happens.
Hands up whose buzzing, the countdown is well and truly on folks!
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