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2023 Champion Chase Odds and Tips - Start of season guide and a 16/1 value bet

05 Oct 2022
jon-vine
Jon Vine 05 Oct 2022
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  • Start of the season odds and tips for the 2023 Champion Chase
  • This Grade One is the feature championship race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Energumene will return to defend his crown
  • Shishkin will be looking to avenge his defeat in 2022
  • Edwardstone is our early season value bet at 16/1
energumene
Paul Townend (R, blue and white kit) on Energumene approach the finish line before Charlie Deutsch (L, red and black kit) on Funambule Sivola to win the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase race during day two of Cheltenham Festival 2022. (Getty)

The 2022 Champion Chase was billed as the clash of the entire Cheltenham Festival. Shishkin and Energumene squared off again following their stunning showdown in the Clarence House Chase, where Nicky Henderson's star narrowly prevailed.

A deluge of rain before the off swung the scales in Energumene's favour. Many predicted that Shishkin wouldn't enjoy the rain-sodden ground and they were proven to be correct. Nico De Boinville pulled his mount up after two shocking early jumps, after which Energumene sauntered to victory, handing Willie Mullins his first victory in Wednesday's Championship race.

National Hunt racing fans will be hoping to see another rematch between the two rivals in 2023. Here are the current 2023 Champion Chase odds and an early Cheltenham Festival tip.

2023 Champion Chase Odds


Name
Odds
Energumene9/4
Shishkin4/1
Ferny Hollow8/1
Gentleman De Mee14/1
Edwardstone16/1
Bar20/1

*Odds taken on 4/10/22*

The Defending Champion


Energumene2023 Champion Chase FavouriteGET 9/4 HERE
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Following his eight-length victory at Cheltenham, Energumene went on to cement his position as the top two-mile chaser around at Punchestown. Many hoped that Chacun Pour Soi - an early faller at Cheltenham racecourse - would provide healthy competition, but Paul Townend's mount swept his stablemate aside, recording another dominant victory.

When it comes to the campaigning of his horses, Willie Mullins can be a creature of habit. Energumene is expected to make his return in the Hilly Way Chase, before taking in the Clarence House before Cheltenham. I just hope Shishkin is back fit and fully firing before Ascot, as we still don't know definitively, out of the two, who is better.

The Beaten Favourite


Shishkin2023 Champion ChaseGET 4/1 HERE
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It was clear from the moment the starter dropped his flag at Cheltenham that Shishkin wasn't right. Nico De Boinville had no choice but to pull his mount up and it wasn't a surprise to hear that an injury had been discovered following that failure to finish.

A few weeks ago, Nicky Henderson provided an update on Shishkin's recovery, in which he detailed the severity of the injury. Thankfully, Britain's top chaser is now back in full training. I doubt whether Shishkin will be ready in time for the Tingle Creek, so we might have to wait until Christmas to see whether he still has the gears that made him such a great champion.

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Nico de Boinville riding Shishkin (R, yellow) get up on the run-in to win The SBK Clarence House Chase from Paul Townend and Energumene (blue) at Ascot. (Getty)

The Chasing Pack


Ferny Hollow2023 Champion ChaseGET 8/1 HERE
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Energumene's stablemates, Ferny Hollow and Gentleman De Mee currently sit third and fourth in the market. 

With Cheveley Park Stud already owning the reigning Gold Cup and Ryanair champions, Ferny Hollow could be pointed at the Queen Mother - despite Willie Mullins' inclinations to step his former Champion Bumper winner up in trip. Gentleman De Mee, on the other hand, looked every inch a two-miler and rounded off last season with a smart victory over Edwardstone at Aintree.

Arkle Chase winner, Edwardstone was crowned Britain's best two-mile novice chaser last season and Alan King will have his sights set on the Queen Mother. Nube Negra could be a player if the ground comes up good. Funambule Sivola - a fortunate runner-up behind Energumene in 2022 - and Third Time Lucki are other possible Cheltenham Festival runners for British connections.

Dark Horse


Bob Olinger2023 Champion ChaseGET 25/1 HERE
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With the last two Gold Cup winners set to return for another crack at Cheltenham's showpiece event, there's a chance that Henry De Bromhead could reroute Bob Olinger towards the Champion Chase. 

Despite two underwhelming outings last spring, the two-time Cheltenham Festival winner remains a hugely progressive chaser. Many were claiming that Bob Olinger would have been taken down the Champion Hurdle route last season - had stablemate Honeysuckle not been around. He might be happier back down over two miles than pushed up to staying distances. The Ryanair, however, seems to be Bob Olinger's most likely objective.

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Tom Cannon riding Edwardstone clear the last to win The Close Brothers Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown. (Getty)

2023 Champion Chase Value Bet - Edwardstone


Edwardstone E/W2023 Champion Chase Early Value BetGET 16/1 HERE
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Placing single bets on Cheltenham Festival favourites at this time of the season isn't beneficial, so I won't be siding with either Energumene or Shishkin. Of the other more likely runners, I think EDWARDSTONE offers the most value at 16/1.

Alan King's star progressed beautifully through the ranks last season. Tom Cannon's mount ran out a 16-length winner of the Henry VIII Chase at Sandown, and comfortably carried a Grade One-winners penalty to victory at Kempton and Warwick before arriving at Cheltenham.

In the Arkle, Edwardstone was much too classy for the likes of Blue Lord and Gabynako - who finished first and second in the Grade One for novices at Punchestown. King's star was then beaten by Gentleman De Mee at Aintree, but Edwardstone ran a little flat on the day, suggesting the exploits of a long, hard novice campaign had finally caught up with him.

Alan King won the Queen Mother with Voy Por Ustedes back in 2007, and Sceau Royal managed to finish within four lengths of the winner in 2019 and 2021. Edwardstone is a more talented chaser than Sceau Royal and, although he might run over two-and-a-half miles at some point, I'm sure the Champion Chase will be his number one objective for the upcoming campaign.
GB

Verdict

Despite the strength of both Energumene and Shishkin at the top of the betting, 16/1 about Edwardstone seems unfair - considering the progression he made last season and the record that Arkle winners have in the Champion Chase. He'll be my early season value selection.

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