By News Team
10th March 2021
Picking a top 5 of Queen Mother Champion Chase winners was not straightforward, with plenty of mentions for outstanding horses that didn’t quite make the cut, including Sire De Grugy, Azertyuiop, and current Champion Politilogue.
AP McCoy, Nick Luck and Nigel Twiston-Davies didn’t have an easy time of it arranging the order of the top 5 once they had whittled it down either, and deciding who took the top sport was even harder!
They sat down to discuss who most deserved to be crowned the best Champion Chase winner and who unfortunately wasn’t quite good enough.
The full video can be viewed here.
Here is the countdown…
In 5th place – Flagship Uberalles
Flagship Uberalles just made the cut when it came down to a head-to-head between him and Azertyuiop with Nick and AP agonising over the decision.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase ran in Flagship Uberalles blood given he was a half-brother to two-time winner Viking Flagship. When winning the 2002 Champion Chase, Flagship Uberalles had already recorded three victories in the Tingle Creek Chase and with three different trainers. One of those trainers was Paul Nicholls and Flagship Uberalles was the first of many Cheltenham winners for the man from Ditcheat.
Remembering his Champion Chase victory Nick Luck recalled that it was “an unbelievable ride from Richard Johnson to win.”
In 4th place – Altior
The top four was easily settled from the off with little debate to be had and thankfully Altior made the cut.
The two-time Champion Chase winner is the most recent victor in the top 5 having won the race in 2018 and 2019, and Nigel Twiston-Davies was quick to put him in third place. As soon as he did that there was surprise in the room with Nick quipping “Altior above Moscow Flyer?!”, and just like that Nigel had given way and Altior had to settle for fourth place.
In 3rd place – Moscow Flyer
Another two-time winner on the list is Moscow Flyer, the 2004 and 2005 winner had a fine CV littered with Grade 1s and AP was quick to cement his position “I’m happy with him there [third]” he remarked.
In his illustrious career Moscow Flyer earned over a million pounds in prize money and was ridden for the most part by Barry Geraghty. In both of his Champion Chase wins he was opposed by Azertyuiop and he went off at 5/6 and 6/4 respectively.
In 2nd place – Master Minded
This is where things really began to heat up, particularly for AP as he set out his position straight away “he was a very, very good horse, have you ever seen a horse win a Champion Chase like he won?” AP said. Nick and Nigel were both in agreement with the statement, but they had to question whether that was just a onetime freakish performance.
The deciding vote came down to Nick as Nigel took an opposing view to AP and determined that Sprinter Sacre was the number 1 for him.
The winner – Sprinter Sacre
“I think this might be the greatest racehorse, the greatest jumps horse, I’ve ever seen.” Once Nick made this statement AP knew the game was up and Sprinter Sacre would be coming out on top, but AP was ready to give up the fight and accept that Sprinter Sacre truly was the greatest.
Who could deny the horse that dared to dream the impossible dream by coming back from a possible career-ending injury to regain his 2013 Champion Chase crown and win in the most emphatic fashion in 2016?
It truly was a memorable moment in the memories of Jump racing fans, and few could argue that in his pomp Sprinter was true great and is more than deserving of his place at the top of the tree.