It’s not often that a Spanish-bred horse goes into one of the major National Hunt meetings with a big chance of winning a major prize. But that is the case this year when Nube Negra lines up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Spanish-bred horses tend to have more success on the Flat, rather than jumping obstacles, so if the Dan Skelton-trained runner does go on to score in the Championship race, it would be a big triumph for Spain.

Nube Negra was bred by Cuadra Internorte in 2014. He had seven appearances in Spain at La Zarzuela in Madrid move moving to the UK. The son of Dink failed to win a single race as a two-year-old or three-year-old on the Flat.

Skelton, now one of the leading trainers in the UK, saw something in Nube Negra and purchased him with the view of running him over hurdles and fences. He has now won six races as a National Hunt raider.

The eight-year-old is one of the popular Cheltenham racing tips for the Queen Mother Championship Chase. He is fourth best in the betting for that race at 10, in what could be one of the best races of the week at the meeting.

Runner-Up In 2021 Champion Chase


This will be Nube Negra’s second shot at the Champion Chase. On his debut in the race in 2021, he finished an impressive second place behind Put The Kettle On. Skelton’s chaser ended that contest strongly and was less than a length behind the winner when he crossed the finish line.

The experience of that race will help the chaser this season as he looks to go one place better. The former Spanish-based horse went into the Festival as an underdog last year, but he is now recognized as one of the best two-mile chasers in the UK and Ireland.

This year’s Championship Chase is set to include the Arkle Trophy winner Shishkin who tops the betting for the race. Nicky Henderson’s runner is unbeaten over fences and has been the star of this division this season.

Nube Negra will also have to overcome the Irish star Energumene. The two-time Grade One winner finished behind Shishkin last time out in the Clarence House Chase, but many pundits feel he has an excellent chance of reversing that form.

Shloer Chase Success the Highlight of The Season for Nube Negra

Horse

The highlight of the campaign so far for Nube Negra was his victory in the Grade Two Shloer Chase at Cheltenham back in November. He beat a strong field in that race to enhance his reputation further.

Unfortunately for his connections, he could not add to his account in his second start of the campaign when he lined up in the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase. He had to settle for fourth place of five runners in that race at Sandown.

Many racing fans in Spain will be keeping a close eye on Nube Negra at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and they will be very proud if he can land the top prize.

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