The Queen Mother Champion Series Chase is the feature race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival. It is ran over a distance of about 2 miles and has had some significant winners including Sire De Grugy ….
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older.
As part of a sponsorship agreement with the online betting company Betway, the race is now known as the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles (1 mile 7 furlongs and 199 yards, or 3,199 meters), and during its running, there are thirteen fences to be jumped. It is the leading minimum-distance chase in the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the second day of the Festival.
The event was established in 1959, and it was originally called the National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase. It was given its present title in 1980 – the year of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday – in recognition of her support to jump racing. The Queen Mother was a successful owner of National Hunt horses, particularly chasers, and among these was Game Spirit – the runner-up in this race in 1976.
In 2014 the favourite to win was Sire Du Grugy, trained by Gary Moore. At this point, Sire De Grugy had won 12 races including the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, the Clarence House Chase, the Celebration Chase, the Desert Orchid Chase, and the Tingle Creek Chase
He started at odds of 11/4f and won impressively by 6 lengths to Somersby. He retired in 2017 as an eleven-year-old – by which time he had amassed an impressive £885,446 in total prize money. After his retirement, his owner Steve Preston gifted the household favourite to the Moore family.
In 2018, the RoR team at NHRM were kindly lent Sire de Grugy for two months to showcase the ongoing work of the Retraining of Racehorses charity and to illustrate how thoroughbreds can be re-trained effectively for a successful life beyond horseracing.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase – Previous winners
Fortria managed to become the first horse to win two consecutive Chase titles in 1961, while the likes of Drinny’s Double, Skymas, and Hilly Way all did the same across the next two decades. Basworth Boy is the most successful horse in the event’s history having come first in 1978, 1979, and 1980. See the previous winners by clicking the link below.