3.30 Cheltenham tips: Champion Chase best bets from Paddy’s pundits

Can Energumene turn the tables on Shishkin?

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It’s round two in the Shishkin and Energumene rivalry as the big guns meet in the feature race on the second day of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

Shishkin will aim to become a three-time Festival winner by landing the Champion Chase in today’s 3.30 at Cheltenham and trainer Nicky Henderson will fancy his chances after getting the better of Energumene by 1l in January’s Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

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Despite being the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, Willie Mullins has never won the Champion Chase and also pitches Chacun Pour Soi into the mix. Previous winners Put The Kettle On and Politologue also go to post as do last year’s runner-up Nube Negra, Envoi Allen – once the great hope of National Hunt racing – and Funambule Sivola. It’s going to be a cracker.

Paddy’s giving away a FREE £/€5 bet to every customer to spend on one of today’s seven races so if you’re wanting to place your freebie on the Champion Chase then you’re in luck as we’ve gathered Paddy’s pundits’ best bets in one handy place below.

Champion Chase tips

Gina Bryce: A brilliant renewal of the race features an outstanding headline act in two time Festival winner SHISHKIN who can maintain his unbeaten record for the hatrick. The winner of last year’s Arkle has strengthened up and come forward again this year after a wind operation last summer which was very much in evidence when managing to repel the challenge of a foot perfect Energuemene at Ascot in the Clarence House Chase in January. His defeat of his closest rival in the market on terms which played to the strengths of Willie Mullins’ challenger leaves me in no doubt he can confirm that superiority back at a track that will bring out the very best in him.

Matt Chapman: This won’t take long as I have long banked on SHISHKIN to come out on top from the days he was odds against. Nothing this season has changed my mind, and the delay to the campaign is probably to his advantage. The Nicky Henderson runner is already a Supreme and Arkle here at Cheltenham and I think he will come up the hill too strongly for the others under Nico de Boinville.

Mick Fitzgerald: He’s won a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and an Arkle Chase and now SHISHKIN can complete the treble by winning the Champion Chase.

Frank Hickey: Shishkin is the one to beat but I just think the gap between him and ENERGUMENE isn’t too big and for that reason I am with Energumene.

Timeform: A mouth-watering rematch between SHISHKIN and Energumene and Nicky Henderson’s star can uphold the Clarence House form and make it 3 Festival wins in a row. Shishkin’s strong finish at Ascot proved decisive and that could be the difference again up the Cheltenham Hill which he knows well. Willie Mullins, still seeking a first win in this race, has another strong contender in Chacun Pour Soi.

Ruby Walsh: This race has everything and I don’t see how Energumene will overturn the Ascot form with SHISHKIN. Of the others, Nube Negra has a chance of hitting the places at least.

Champion Chase tips summary:

Gina Bryce – Shishkin
Matt Chapman – Shishkin
Mick Fitzgerald – Shishkin
Frank Hickey – Energumene
Timeform – Shishkin
Ruby Walsh – Shishkin

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