Champion Chase Trends

Past Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2017 Special Tiara 10 Noel Fehily Henry de Bromhead
2016 Sprinter Sacre 10 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson
2015 Dodging Bullets 7 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls
2014 Sire de Grugy 8 Jamie Moore Gary Moore
2013 Sprinter Sacre 7 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2012 Finian’s Rainbow 9 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2011 Sizing Europe 9 Andrew Lynch Henry de Bromhead
2010 Big Zeb 9 Barry Geraghty Colm Murphy
2009 Master Minded 6 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls
2008 Master Minded 5 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls

Trends

Key Trends

  1. 31 of the last 33 winners had won that season.
    The exceptions were Sizing Europe in 2011, and Marthas Son in 1997 who fell on her one outing that season. In the last 10 years, these horses took up 79% of the total places on offer from 64% of the total field. The strength of this trend has increased in the last few years, with these horses having taken up 86% of the total places from 60% of the total field.
  2. 18 of the last 20 winners had won at least a grade 2 that season.
    The exceptions were the same two horses. The horses to have fit this trend took up 69% of the total places in the last 10 years from 47% of the total field. The trend has strengthened in the last 5 years, with these runners taking up 86% of the total places from 49% of the total field.
  3. 9 of the last 10 winners were rated 160+.
    In the last 10 years, these horses filled 76% of the total places from 57% of the total field. The exception was Special Tiara last year, who had an OR of 159 going into the race. This would have to be treated as a slightly unusual result, and the trend has remained strong in the last 5 years (79% of the places from 64% of the field).
  4. 9 of the last 10 winners (and 15 of the last 16) had previously won a grade 1.
    The exception was Master Minded in 2008, when he had never contested a grade 1. These horses filled 79% of the total places in the last 10 years from 64% of the total field. In the last 5 years, they filled 79% of the total places (and accounted for all of the winners) from 68% of the total field.
  5. 8 of the last 10 winners finished in the top 2 last time out.
    The exceptions were Special Tiara and Sizing Europe. In the last 10 years, these horses have filled 76% of the total places from 52% of the total field. The strength of the trend hasn’t really changed in more recent years
  6. 20 of the last 20 winners had their last start in a field of 8 or less runners.
    36 runners came into the race having run in bigger fields last time out and 6 made the frame. This trend has been particularly strong in the last 5 years, with these horses filling all of the places on offer from 83% of the total field. (Over 10 years, they filled 93% of the total places from 81% of the total field). (79% of the places from 53% of the total field in the last 5 years).
  7. 10 of the last 10 winners had run at least 7 times over fences.
    9 horses ran in that period of time with less chasing experience, and 8 of them failed to make the frame (4 failed to complete the race). Looking at the last 10 years, there’s no significant over-performance to be seen among these horses (93% of the total places from 89% of the total field). They did fill 100% of the total places on offer in the last 5 years, though, from 89% of the total field.
  8. 15 of the last 15 winners had previously won over 2m 1f+.
    These horses do account for the vast majority of the field each year, however – 91% of the field in the last 10 years (and 97% of the total places) and 94% of the field in the last 5 years (and 100% of the total places).
  9. 14 of the last 15 winners had won at least 40% of completed NH starts.
    Special Tiara was the exception. This trend has been a strong one over the last 10 years (72% of the total places from 56% of the total field). However, in the last 5 years these horses performed exactly as would have been expected of them (57% of the total places from 57% of the total field). While I’m still using this as a trend, it’s best to treat it with caution.

Other Trends

  1. 19 of the last 20 winners had run 4 or less times that season.
    The exception was Sire De Grugy, who ran 5 times before the Champion Chase in 2014. In the last 20 years, 40 horses have run in the race after more than 4 runs that season and only one won. However, a further 8 did manage to make the frame. Horses which had run less than 5 times that season took up just 76% of the total places in the last 10 years from 94% of the total field, so this could be considered a false trend.
  2. 12 of the last 15 winners had not been beaten in the race before.
    This trend was broken in each of the last 2 years, with Sprinter Sacre and Special Tiara. In fact, the race has been full of horses previously beaten in it over the last few years. Those which had not previously been beaten in the Champion Chase took up 57% of the field in the last 5 years, and filled just 50% of the places. This trend has to be considered a false one at this moment in time.
  3. 9 of the last 10 winners had at least 3 previous starts with the same jockey on board.
    Horses with less experience with their jockeys accounted for 1 win and 5 places from 29 runners. Over the last 10 years, these horses filled 79% of the total places from 69% of the total field. However, in the last 5 years they performed as would have been expected of them (79% of the total places from 79% of the total field)

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