Two-mile chases often produce some of the most exhilarating races of the National Hunt season. The Tingle Creek Chase and Queen Mother Champion Chase are just two of the big races that see the best horses in the division take each other on.
As we head into a new season of National Hunt racing, let’s take a look at which horses are likely to shine in two-mile chases between now and spring 2024.
The Alan King-trained runner was last season’s Tingle Creek winner and also the second-favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March. But he was disappointing that day, coming fifth out of seven runners. He does have Cheltenham form on his side, having won the Arkle in 2022, but he prefers some cut in the ground and conditions must suit if he’s to come out as the leading two-miler across the season.
There was some talk of this bay gelding stepping up to two miles and four furlongs, but that seems unlikely given that his best form is over shorter distances. Edwardstone is more known for speed than stamina and one of his best assets is his turn of foot late on in races. This is a weapon more suited to two miles.
Despite falling short in January’s Clarence House Stakes, this Willie Mullins horse redeemed himself by winning the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March. With 10 wins from 12 races over fences, he’s a formidable opponent who goes well on any ground. It’s likely that horse racing odds will give him a chance of winning at least one major race at this distance during the season.
Energumene’s connections will no doubt fancy his chances back at the Cheltenham Festival. The Old Course at Cheltenham seems to favour frontrunners and the son of Denham Red will most likely turn the race into one of stamina.
An Arkle winner who finishes his races strongly, but has had a tendency to mis-time his jumps in big races. El Fabiolo had a slight scare at the last fence as he romped home in last season’s Champion Chase, and clipped two fences late on when following up with a win at Punchestown a month later. He clearly has the ability, but whether he can compete at the top table will depend on how he has trained for Willie Mullins over the summer.
A strong, powerful runner with plenty of stamina, El Fabiolo was described by experienced jockey Daryl Jacob as “one of the best” after he had the experience of riding him to a win at Punchestown in February. He should be even bigger and stronger this season.
Another exciting year on the horizon
These are just three of the horses likely to be battling out this season for the crown of ‘best two-miler’. Others who may have a say on matters include Nicky Henderson’s Jonbon and Henry De Bromhead-trained Captain Guinness.
With such quality on show, it looks sure to be another exciting season ahead in the division.
Michael specializes in journalism, digital content production and social media management. He has a passion for numerous sports including football, horse racing and ice hockey. Michael currently works on a freelance basis, producing daily content for various outlets within the sports industry.