Last ran at least 32 days ago, the majority having a break of more than 45 days
Had six or more starts over fences (with at least five wins)
Were trained in Britain or by Henry De Bromhead or Willie Mullins
Nine of the last 10 winners:
Had run at least twice at Cheltenham before (six had won, including three of the last five who were unbeaten at the course). Only Energumene had never run at the track
Had won one of their last three starts (exception Politologue)
Had two or more starts that season (Altior in 2018)
Had won two or more Grade 1s (Put The Kettle On).
Had their last run before Cheltenham in Britain (Put The Kettle On).
Had won that season (Politologue).
Watch the #Racehour Champion Chase Preview
Eight of the last 10 winners:
Finished in the top three in their last race (Politologue and Special Tiara). Five won last time out.
Key Trials from the last 10 years
Six of the last 10 winners ran last time out in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Four of them won the race. This year's race could not be run at Ascot and was moved to Cheltenham, where Editeur Du Gite won.
Altior, who romped home in 2018, won the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. Fox Norton and Module were also winners of that race who placed in the proceeding Cheltenham Champion Chase.
The Arkle Novices' Chase looks an obvious pointer towards future Champion Chase victory, but there's been a trend lately of that race's winner graduating instead to the Ryanair Chase. Having said that, if they take part they often win. The winners of the 2012, 2017 and 2020 Arkles won the following year's Champion Chase. Only four others tried, the latest being Shishkin, who pulled up in 2022.
2020 winner Politologue didn’t run in between his disappointing Tingle Creek Chase effort in December 2019 and the Cheltenham Festival, which is an unusually lengthy period of time in between races for a winner of this race. Though 2021 winner Put The Kettle On and 2016 winner Sprinter Sacre also did not run between December and the Festival.
Nicky Henderson boasts a phenomenal record in this race with a 45% strike - five winners from 11 runners in the 11 years.
Paul Nicholls has also won the race six times overall, most recently in 2020 (also trained the runner-up), but that was only his second success of the last decade.
Henry De Bromhead has saddled two winners from 14 runners in the last 10 renewals.
Willie Mullins won the race for the first time in 2022 with Energumene.
Nico de Boinville endured his first losing ride in the race in 2022 when favourite Shishkin was pulled up. He's still won the race more times than any other jockey in the last 10 years with three wins.
How did the trends do last year?
The 2021 Arkle Novices' Chase winner Shishkin was also the 2020 Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero and came into the race unbeaten in four hurdle outings and seven chase runs.
Trained by leading race trainer Nicky Henderson, he was the clear trends pick, however, something went wrong in the Champion Chase and he was pulled up.
Winner Energumene was not really on the radar as he had not run at Cheltenham before, had been beaten by Shishkin in the Clarence House Chase and was trained by Willie Mullins, who had never won the race despite fielding some real superstars.
Last year's winner Energumene had been foot-perfect since his win and only become a stronger candidate for the race until his last run.
The Champion Chase's most prolific trial, the Clarence House Chase, was switched to Cheltenham from its regular home at Ascot, and their Energumene hit the last hard, fading to finish third as the 4/9 favourite.
This does not affect his status as the top trends pick, but does move winner Editeur Du Gite into the frame as that was his first Grade 1 win. He's now a contender.
His Willie Mullins-trained stablemate Blue Lord, who was third in last year's Arkle Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival has also emerged as a leading candidate after winning a Grade 1 at Leopardstown by 11 lengths.
Jessica Lamb is one of Bookmakers.com's racing expert. As a multi-media journalist also specialising is cycling and athletics, she has worked on news desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun as well as providing content for professional sports teams, national sports governing bodies and Boylesports.
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