Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?

Cheltenham Festival’s Champion Chase has been named after the Queen Mother since 1980

Queen Mother Champion Chase


Cheltenham Festival is upon us and once again it’s that time of year where the racing betting jargon spills out uncontrollably from punters, pundits and pub landlords.

If you’re new to betting on horse racing and aren’t sure what all the fuss is about then Paddy Power is here to help! Our series of Demystifying Racing guides takes you through everything you need to know about racing betting, and in particular the Cheltenham Festival.

In this guide, we’ll explain what the Queen Mother Champion Chase is all about, and how it got its name. After that, you’ll be able to show off your knowledge to your mates when betting on Cheltenham – although don’t assume your additional wisdom will see you pick a winner!

What is the Queen Mother Champion Chase?

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is a Grade 1 race at Cheltenham Festival that is run over fences. The steeplechase is just short of 1m 8f long and is available for horses five years and older to enter. There is an eye-watering £400,000 prize purse in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which makes it one of the richest UK horse races in the year.

Now, the race has been in existence since 1959. It was originally called the National Hunt Two Mile Champion Chase and was seem as one of the most testing races in global horse racing and has produced iconic champions over the years, such as Badsworth Boy, Drinny’s Double, Moscow Flyer, Master Minded and most recently Altior.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother was famed for her love of horse racing (GETTY)

How the Queen Mother Champion Chase got its name

The race was named the Champion Chase between its inaugural run in 1959 up until 1980. That year was the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday – and so in her honour the race was renamed the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The royals have a thing for horse racing and there are plenty more royal-themed race names over the National Hunt and Flat calendars.

The name has stuck ever since, even though since 2007 there has been sponsorship associated with the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Betting on Queen Mother Champion Chase

Horse racing betting fans can sometimes earn a great win from the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The favourite has won only five of the last 15 runs of this race, although rarely does a horse priced higher than 10/1 storm to victory.

It means racing punters at Cheltenham can generally presume that one of the better priced horses on the race card will win, although if the odds on the actual favourite are too slim then bettors will seek other options.



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