Cheltenham Festival: Champion Chase Betting Tips

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival comes up on Wednesday and its feature is the Queen Mother Champion Chase, one of most keenly contested Grade 1 races over fences at the famous Prestbury Park course.

Run over two miles on the Old course, it takes a fast and accurate jumper to navigate the tricky fences and pure pace to see them off up the hill. A field of eight have been declared for the big race and our expert has picked out a pair against the odds-on favourite El Fabiolo.

Selection: Edwardstone @ 7/2

Outsider to note: Gentleman De Mee @ 33/1

Every chance that Edwardstone can get El Fabiolo in trouble

El Fabiolo has always appeared to make hard work of jumping fences, often landing steeply on the other side, and it will be interesting to see if he is slick enough to cope with the pace that EDWARDSTONE looks certain to set following his all-the-way win at Newbury last month.

At the prices, it has to be worth taking a chance on Edwardstone getting the hot favourite out of his comfort zone early and he could spring a surprise if capable of doing so.

The ten-year-old had been the outstanding two-mile chaser of last season before he was eclipsed in this race by Energumene, but he is better than the bare form of that 64-length defeat and appears to be peaking at the right time judged on his last-time-out win at Newbury.

Edwardstone recorded his best effort since landing the 2022 Tingle Creek on that occasion, jumping off in front and putting his rivals in all sorts of trouble before running away with it by 40 lengths.

Last season he came into this race on the back of a defeat and disappointed accordingly, but this time around he returns in top form and that should see him perform better.

A course-and-distance winner in the Arkle a couple of seasons ago, Edwardstone is fully effective at this track and looked like a rejuvenated horse under front-running tactics last time.

It will take a smart performance to peg him back provided that he turns up in the same form he was in at Newbury last time.

Gentleman De Mee no forlorn hope for a place

If there is one horse capable of keeping up with Edwardstone in the early stages it is probably GENTLEMAN DE MEE, who is at his best when racing prominently and might be able to withstand an early barrage.

The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old is a spring horse who comes to himself at this time of the year, and this will be the first time that he has contested a chase around Cheltenham.

He has consistently mixed it with the best since winning a Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival last season, for which he achieved a career-best figure.

A reproduction of that run would put him on a par with Edwardstone and it’s not difficult to ignore his last three defeats.

Gentleman De Mee showed plenty of sparkle through the early part of the race back at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out, before being brushed aside by the principals and can be expected to take another step forward with that behind him.

Sometimes two-mile chases like this can be dominated by those who race prominently and the horses who are held up struggle to get into it.

If this race develops in that manner, with Edwardstone and Gentleman De Mee going clear early, there is every chance that they might fill the first two positions with El Fabiolo nowhere to be seen.

Take Time to Think | | 18+

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