Top 5 Champion Chase Moments

Sprinter Sacre "The Black Aeroplane" Retires 1

Our Queen Mother Champion Chase tips are now live on site so this is a golden opportunity to have a look back at the five most memorable renewals of the race to our living memory. The prestigious Grade 1 is run over two miles and twelve fences are jumped at a frantic pace. Only the best steeplechasers in the world can win this race and we have lived to witness some true greats throughout the years. Let’s take a look at our top five moments, some of which will give us tingles no doubt.


The most successful horse in Champion Chase history, full stop. He completed a hat-trick of wins between 1983 and 1985 for the Dickinson family. Amazingly, he was trained by a different member of the family each year he won it as Tony, Michael and Monica all took turns training the wonderful horse. He became just the twelfth horse in history to surpass the £100,000 prize money mark. He crushed his rivals in devastating fashion, winning his first Champion Chase by a distance and the other two by ten lengths. He sadly passed away at the age of twenty-seven due to a heart attack but his legacy certainly will live on forever. Watch him win the 1984 Champion Chase below.


This has to go down as one of the greatest training feats of all time, hats off to trainer David Nicholson for the excellent job he did with this horse. Winless from his first eighteen starts in Ireland, Viking Flagship looked a complete no-hoper on the flat. It was only when David took him in and campaigned him over hurdles that he started to come to life. He was never a horse that travelled like a winner and in the clip below you will see him coming under a bit of pressure a long way from home. However, he was all guts and heart and he adored that Cheltenham hill, that’s what made the difference. 1993 Champion Chase winner Deep Sensation could well have won three Queen Mothers’ but for Viking Flagship’s sheer determination and he went on to win the race again in 1995, beating the same rival. He won’t go down as the most devastating winner ever, but he will go down as a true champion.


Sadly the great Moscow Flyer passed away in late 2016 but his legacy will live on and what a superstar he was. Trained by the Jessica Harrington stable when he was racing, he won an incredible twenty-six times from his forty-four starts which included ten Grade 1 victories over fences, two of which were Champion Chase’s. In 2003, he won the Champion Chase is great fashion. Sadly, in 2004 he fell when travelling very well but at the ripe old age of eleven, he bounced back to win the race again in 2005. Only true champions can do that and he will go down as one of the greatest horses in history and certainly one of the greatest Irish horses ever.


When it comes to the most visually impressive displays at the Cheltenham festival, nothing can match Master Minded’s display in the 2008 Champion Chase where he beat a very talented and the current champion chaser at the time, Voy Por Ustedes, by an incredible nineteen lengths, eased down. He made the 2007 Champion chaser look like a very ordinary horse that day. To this day, he remains the only five year old to ever win the Champion Chase and he repeated the feat a year later too in the hands of Ruby Walsh for Paul Nicholls. Sent off the 4/11 favourite, he beat Well Chief by seven lengths. He was one of the most fluent jumpers ever, barely ever touched a twig and has to go down as one of the true greats.


Nicknamed “The Black Aeroplane” during his youth, no horse captured the imagination of the racing world like Sprinter Sacre. He was a born winner and enjoyed beating his rivals by as far as he could, so much so that it felt like he was looking back laughing at them. The French bred import won the Arkle in 2012 and then went on to win the Champion Chase by half the track in what has to go down as the most authoritative displays in the history of the race. Sadly, he then got injured and was off the track for a long time but in 2016 the king was back and he gained revenge on his doubters. Sent off the 9/2 second favourite, he destroyed the hot fancy Un De Sceaux on what was one of racing’s most emotional days ever. A true great, a horse we will never forget.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is always the highlight of Day 2 and this year is no exception with the long odds on favourite Douvan taking centre stage, a horse that Willie Mullins rates as the best he’s ever trained. See our tip and read our thoughts for the championship race on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival! Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival also features the Neptune Novices Hurdle for future Stayers’ Hurdlers and the ever exciting Cross Country Chase. Don’t miss our preview and tips for the Queen Mother Champion Chase which is online now. 

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