The National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase was first run in 1959 and the Queen Mother’s name was added to the race title in 1980, the year of her 80th birthday.
The race is sponsored by BetVictor for the first time this year.
The biggest field was in 1999 when 13 went to post, while only five took part in 1985, 1972, 1968, 1964, 1963 and 1961.
The race’s roll of honour includes many multiple winners, though Badsworth Boy (1983–85) is the only three-time scorer.
The 10 dual winners are Fortria (1960 and 1961), Drinny’s Double (1967 and 1968), Royal Relief (1972 and 1974), Skymas (1976 and 1977), Hilly Way (1978 and 1979), Pearlyman (1987 and 1988), Barnbrook Again (1989 and 1990), Viking Flagship (1994 and 1995), Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005) and Master Minded (2008 and 2009).
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The most successful owners have been George Ansley, who enjoyed three wins with Fortria (1960 and 1961) and Straight Fort (1970), and Doug Armitage who also had three victories with Badsworth Boy (1983, 1984 and 1985).
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Tom Dreaper had the best record of any trainer in the race, winning six runnings with Fortria (1960 and 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969) and Straight Fort (1970).
Of current trainers, Paul Nicholls (1999 Call Equiname, 2004 Azertyuiop and the 2008 & 2009 winner Master Minded) is leading the way with four wins.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Pat Taaffe and Barry Geraghty (pictured) are the most successful riders with five wins each.
Taaffe scored on Fortria (1960, 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966) and Straight Fort (1970), while Geraghty, has won on Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005), Big Zeb (2010), Finian’s Rainbow (2012) and Sprinter Sacre (2013).
No mare has won the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The fastest time for the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase is 3m 44.70s, set by Edredon Bleu in 2000.
Flyingbolt was the shortest-priced winner when succeeding at 1/5 in 1966, while Another Dolly, who was awarded the 1980 race at odds of 33/1, provided the biggest upset.
In the 54 runnings, 17 favourites (just over 31 per cent) have prevailed.
The two greys to succeed were One Man in 1998 and Call Equiname in 1999.
The oldest horse to have triumphed was the 12-year-old Skymas in 1977, while the youngest was Master Minded, who was just five when winning for the first time in 2008.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
- 5yo – 1 victory
- 6yo – 3 victories
- 7yo – 7 victories
- 8yo – 19 victories
- 9yo – 12 victories
- 10yo – 9 victories
- 11yo – 2 victories
- 12yo – 1 victory
IRELAND (21): Quita Que (1959), Fortria (1960 & 1961), Ben Stack (1964), Flyingbolt (1966), Muir (1969), Straight Fort (1970), Inkslinger (1973), Lough Inagh (1975), Skymas (1976 & 1977), Hilly Way (1978 & 1979), Drumgora (1981), Buck House (1986), Klairon Davis (1996), Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005), Newmill (2006), Big Zeb (2010) and Sizing Europe (2011).
DID YOU KNOW?
Michael Dickinson trained the winner for three consecutive years with Rathgorman (1982) and Badsworth Boy (1983 & 1984). His mother Monica had taken charge of the training operation for Badsworth Boy’s final success in 1985.
The 1986 winner Buck House subsequently met with that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup heroine Dawn Run in a special match race over two miles at Punchestown in April the same year. Dawn Run prevailed by two and a half lengths.
The Racing Post Arkle Chase is a good guide for future success in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase. Sprinter Sacre (2013), Sizing Europe (2011), Voy Por Ustedes (2007), Azertyuiop (2004), Moscow Flyer (2003 and 2005), Flagship Uberalles (2002), Klairon Davis (1996) and Remittance Man (1992) all won the novices’ event before their BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase victory.