Altior Retires! Who Will Be The Next Star Of The 2m Chase Division?
Altior, a true titan of the National Hunt scene, has retired at the age of 11. The record holder for consecutive jumps wins, with an incredible 19, Altior will be fondly remembered by jumps fans up and down the country. Yet, his retirement has left a void for a new star to dominate the 2m chase division. So, who is in the pipeline? And what does the betting currently tell us regarding the 2022 Queen Mother Champion Chase?
No longer had Sprinter Sacre retired, than Altior begun his rise to stardom, and now he has retired, SHISHKIN looks the Nicky Henderson stable flagbearer.
A winner of all completed rules starts, Shishkin mapped a similar route to his illustrious now-former stablemates when landing the Arkle at Cheltenham in March.
Another Grade 1 followed in the Maghull at Aintree, and whilst life will undoubtedly become tougher once he is made to take on more experienced rivals this season, Shishkin is the horse deemed likeliest by bookmakers to go on to Cheltenham glory in March.
Another exceptional novice chaser last season, injury, unfortunately, ruled ENERGUMENE out of a clash with Altior in the Arkle, yet Tony Bloom’s charge showed ill effects of that when demolishing a select field in a Punchestown Grade 1 in April.
Seemingly at his best when allowed to bowl along at his own electric pace, and versatile regarding favoured ground conditions – a Cheltenham win is about all that is lacking from the current Energumene CV.
Bookmakers make him 5/1 to rectify that in the 2022 Champion Chase.
CHACUN POUR SOI
One of Willie Mullins top recruits in recent years, CHACUN POUR SOI looked the horse to beat in last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase – but despite being sent off at odds of 8/13 he failed to get the job done.
The nine-year-old accounted for that defeat with an impressive victory in the Punchestown Champion Chase when last seen.
So, was that Cheltenham defeat down to the track, or did Chacun Pour Soi just have a rare off day?
He should get the chance to right those Cheltenham wrongs next year, but by the time he lines up at Prestbury Park, Chacun Pour Soi will be ten.
PUT THE KETTLE ON
Could the dominant force in next year’s 2m chase division be the reigning Champion Chase heroine PUT THE KETTLE ON?
Henry De Bromhead’s mare brought her Cheltenham record to an unblemished 4-4 with victory last year, and her 2021/22 campaign is likely going to be revolved around a defence of her Champion Chase crown.
ALLAHO proved imperious when landing the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March when a tilt at 2m chasing was immediately nominated as an option for the future.
Stablemate Chacun Pour Soi put Allaho firmly in his place when first attempting that distance at Punchestown in April, but will that be the end of the experiment? Cheltenham’s stiff 2m track will surely see Allaho to better effect and it would be no shock if he were to prove the horse to give Willie Mullins a deserved first Queen Mother winner.