2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting Tips – Nube Negra a Play Against Favourite

Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips · Wednesday, 17th Mar 2021 - 15:05

Skelton says Spanish-bred horse his best Cheltenham chance

The feature race on Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival this Wednesday is the 2m Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase (15:05). Nube Negra is a progressive and unexposed sort, so may be worth chancing against the big two in the betting for this championship contest.

Described by trainer Dan Skelton as his stable’s best chance of a winner at the Festival, this unusual Spanish-bred seven-year-old entered the Champion Chase picture with victory in the Desert Orchid at Kempton over Christmas. Nube Negra zoomed past Altior and caused a major upset. Was it a fluke? You might well ask.

Nube Negra brings younger legs and greater scope for further progress to the table. He also has Cheltenham experience after finishing a fine third in the Fred Winter earlier in his career.

At the prices on offer, 8/1 with bet365, it could be well worthwhile backing Nube Negra against Chacun Pour Soi. Regular jockey Harry Skelton won this race last year aboard Politologue, but stays loyal to his brother now and gets the leg up.

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Chacun Pour Soi favourite for Champion Chase but no value

Chacun Pour Soi heads the betting on the back of impressive, consecutive victories in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown. He was all the rage last year but, like Altior who again misses out, didn’t make it to the Champion Chase because of a late setback.

However, a fit and on-song Chacun Pour Soi is a formidable opponent. He’s lightly-raced for his age and again looked a cut-above Ireland’s other two-milers on his runs in the Emerald Isle. Believe it or not, trainer Willie Mullins has never won this race before.

This could easily be the time when he puts that hoodoo to bed, however. Chacun Pour Soi has never raced at Cheltenham before and, with course form often proving key, he is plenty short enough at 5/6 with Betfred for the spoils. He is opposed on his price here.

Put The Kettle On the each-way play

Last year’s Champion Chase winner Politologue is in much deeper waters this time around, and a successful defence of his crown seems unlikely. He was beaten fair and square by the progressive First Flow in the Clarence House at Ascot in January, and Kim Bailey’s locally trained nine-year-old enters calculations.

However, First Flow lacks the desired course experience. He has also gone up 26lb in the space of a year and could be nearing his ceiling. On that basis, Put The Kettle On makes more each-way appeal as she is unbeaten in three career starts over course and distance.

This Irish raider trained by Henry De Bromhead gets a handy 7lb sex allowance from the geldings too. Put The Kettle On, a seven-year-old daughter of Stowaway, has won the Arkle Trial, Arkle and Shloer Chase all by staying, so a strongly run 2m is no problem for her.

She does have some work to do to reverse Leopardstown form with Chacun Pour Soi off the same terms, but she acts at Cheltenham. That is an unknown with the favourite, so Put The Kettle On could thus be a bit of value at 10/1 with Betfair for at least the frame here.

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