Queen Mother Champion Chase Cheltenham Festival, Wed
Sizing Europe continues to be very well supported by punters at the head of the Champion Chase market – with Bet365 holding their price at odds of 10/11 but racking up big liabilities in the process.
Of all the favourites at the Cheltenham Festival, the feeling is that they fear Henry De Bromhead’s star chaser the most.
This year’s renewal of the Queen Mother is arguably one of the weakest for a generation, with not many young novices seemingly good enough to make the step up from last season and the older ones regressing rather than progressing.
Last year’s winner Sizing Europe has shown already this season he has retained all his ability from last season, so just on that basis, he rates as a worthy favourite.
Of the challengers from last season’s Arkle Chase, which is usually a great guide to finding the winner of the Champion Chase (Sizing Europe won it in 2010), Fininan’s Rainbow, who finished second behind seemingly Gold Cup bound Captain Chris last season, looks the only challenger capable of putting any pressure on the well backed market leader.
Nicky Henderson’s spring-heeled jumper has been part of some strong each-way vibes from knowledgeable punting circles – with many feeling he won’t be out of the first three if jumping with his usual brilliance.
The 5/1 probably won’t last much longer and will be shorter on the day.
Of the remaining contenders, there isn’t much to go on.
Big Zeb (9/2) has been friendless in the market following his poor effort behind Sizing Europe in the Tied Cottage Chase in Ireland whilst next in the betting Somersby (8/1) looks likely to go for the Ryanair Chase.