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3.20 Champion Chase

The 2014 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase looked to be at the mercy of Sprinter Sacre when the season started but his heart scare and the emergence of market rival Sire De Grugy have added an air of uncertainty to the Cheltenham Festival contest.

Sprinter Sacre romped home by 19 lengths at Prestbury Park last season, matching the magnificent exploits of another spectacular recent scorer in Master Minded, but Nicky Henderson faces a big challenge to get him back to that form. 

The feature race on the second day of the Festival traditionally has fewer entrants than the other Grade 1 events, but it certainly doesn’t suffer as a result.

In fact, for many, this is the most exciting race of the fours days as it provides the thrilling spectacle of the best two mile chasers flying the Cheltenham fences at break-neck speed.

Previous winners of the Arkle Trophy have a great record in this race - in fact the last 12 Arkle winners who returned the following season to compete in this race ALL finished in the first three (five winners, five second-places and two third-places).

You very rarely get a below par winner of the race and indeed the winner of this race is often rated higher by the handicapper than the winner of the King George or the Gold Cup.

The event has produced some great winners and some great Festival memories, including some of the most incredible finishes in the history of the sport.

No-one who was there to witness them will ever forget the epic battles between Edredon Blue and Direct Route in 2000, or Viking Flagship, Travado and Deep Sensation in 1994, and the emotional triumph for One Man in 1998 must rate as one of the most popular Festival victories of all time.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase (3:20pm) is a Class A Grade 1 chase run over two miles. It is open to horses aged 5 years old and upwards.

Cheltenham Festival Wednesday - 12th March 2014

1.30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

2.05 RSA Chase

2.40 Coral Cup (a Handicap Hurdle)

3.20 Queen Mother Champion Chase

4.00 Glenfarclass Cross Country Handicap Chase

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

5.15 Champion Bumper

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