Antepost preview and recommended bets for Queen Mother Champion Chase


If you’re not going to tackle the Cheltenham Festival outpost head-on – and with both feet – then you too may not care, and with that in mind, I fancy a first dart. to Shishkin and Energumene who completely dominate bets for Queen Mother Betway’s Champion Hunt.

It’s not that they’re the wrong price – certainly not if the race was tomorrow anyway, a claim supported by the fact that most companies are already 4/5 Shishkin and 9/4 Energumene, which reflects the prices of one company to have already passed a no-bet non-runner on the race (bet365).

So, with most diapers already moving to the final reporting stage 10 weeks in advance, with at least a few really big trials ahead, it’s clearly possible to beat the market with a good margin if you get them. good horses on the side while the antepost rules still apply.

All in all, I’m happy enough to go against the Principals for the sake of value alone – we’ve seen enough late withdrawals in this division over the years – and the initial temptation is to come to terms with Paul Nicholls. No one has won the race more times (Tom Dreaper and Nicky Henderson the other coaches with six Champion Chase wins to their name) and he seems to be aiming at least two horses towards the race again, despite the public handing over of Champion Chase. on a plate to Shishkin in his post-race interview following Desert Orchid on December 27.

The Nicholls-trained Greaneteen, beaten 10 lengths by the superstar Henderson at Kempton who caused the pseudo-admission of defeat, is the third favorite at this point with Energumene’s stable mate, Everyone For Self, But All isn’t as inspiring given current odds. despite Greaneteen earlier in the campaign winning Tingle Creek – traditionally one of Britain’s most informative stepping stones.

With Each For Self and Shloer Chase’s wide-margin winner Nube Negra both flopped, the Sandown Grade One probably didn’t have many wins this year and the day it looked like Greaneteen was a touch-flattered by the five and a half. margin of length on his teammate Hitman, who lost a lot of momentum with a scruffy jump to the penultimate (nodding his head on landing) before boxing courageously.

Hitman, who just turned six, still looked like a work in progress in the first language tie there, as he did when he looked worried about Eldorado Allen during the Haldon Gold. Cup on his seasonal return, and at 25/1 there is a case for him to bridge the gap to some extent. On the other hand, I would have serious concerns that connections would skip completely at Cheltenham this time around and ripen him for Aintree, with a two-and-a-half-mile pullback that should come at some point.

Who are the best longshots with the potential of Champion Chase?

It’s one thing to be prepared to accept doubts about a potential stake, but you really have to feel like you’re being paid well in terms of the prize when betting this far, and there are two that lurk with odds. huge ones that could yet emerge as something akin to ‘next best’ behind the blindingly obvious market leaders.

The first is Gary Moore’s publisher Du Gite, who this week received speculative entry at Champion Chase ahead of a debut hit at the open company Graded as part of Newbury’s sophomore Betfair competition, formerly known as Game Spirit, February 12.

The received wisdom is that by going there, he will likely avoid Energumene and Shishkin – who, oddly enough, are evaluated in that order for Ascot’s Clarence House Chase later this month, which perhaps tells his own story – and publisher Du Gite has already proven its worth around Newbury having won on the track last March when its pace of progress really started to take off.

Based on Cheltenham’s four-length handicap success last month from a mark of 147 he still hasn’t hit the cap of his ability and if all goes well in the Game Spirit then being a A sharp jumper with a prominent running style and the ability to handle all types of terrain, he could be a legitimate two-way option for the feature film on the second day of Festival week.

The problem with it is that it still has a long way to go (in simple terms) in such a short time, and at an even higher price point, I prefer the idea of FUNAMBULE SIVOLA, which is another admittedly more likely to line up for the Grand Annual than a Grade One as it stands (also listed in Ryanair Chase), but has a lot of appeal otherwise.

Having started the season with a BHA rating of 156 he has now come down to 152 which might sound very appealing but I have more than hope that we will see this horse again before the Festival – he thrived in racing last season. , appearing seven times including four after the start of the year – and with any luck he will hit the nail on the head and leave coach Venetia Williams with little to no choice but to aim for the big one.

First of all, we know that after showing a huge improvement over a modest perch of 112, he certainly didn’t look out of place when he was second behind Shishkin in chasing Maghull’s novices in last April in Aintree. In fact, he probably gave fans the briefest of scares for the 1/8 of his favorites as he always looked full of landing after the final close.

He was comfortably sidelined in the run-in, but this three-quarter-length loss is by far Shishkin’s closest since Abacadabras in the 2020 Sky Bet Supreme, and while the market leader may have been a bit flat after Cheltenham, it was another promising second place effort.

Back on a trip surely the way to go

This season has yet to go as planned, as Williams has tried to stretch it over two and a half miles, but each time he’s shaped like one of the best two-mile horses yet to come. There are nuances of Nube Negra about him in the way he glides through the fences, not getting particularly high but reserving energy in the process, and like Dan Skelton’s horse that has come close to the queen mother 2020, it travels slowly before producing a good turn of the foot.

He was leading lower rivals on his way up the ladder last season and Charlie Deutsch usually sent him forward, but the horse doesn’t have to lead and he should in theory relish a heavily raced race around the Old Course. in Cheltenham.

The two and a half miles stretched on a new rainy (mild) course was not his bag at all when asked to take on a heavy weight in handicap company on New Years Day, but he ran much better than the final position suggests, and it’s not hard to argue that the same comment applies to his four and a half seconds behind First Flow in the Peterborough Chase in early December (replay below).

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Not without support at Huntingdon (11/2), he faced Allmankind and Master Tommytucker at the helm of affairs in a race that ultimately fell into First Flow’s knees. What was most striking was how long the avid Tightrope Walker Sivola hung on while still on the bridle making his way home while the other pace makers fainted poorly.

First Flow – conceding the second 6 pounds to its name – was the strongest after the last, but Williams’ horse would have cooked it to two miles and it’s interesting to see First Flow as short as 5/1 for the Clarence House and Tightrope Walker Sivola 14/1.

I would have them much closer considering the latter is already a winner around Ascot as well and if there is any spoiler in the Shishkin vs. Energumene party (other than one of them not showing up, of course. ), then this seven-year-old light run looks exactly like that.

A positive performance on January 22 would see Tightrope walker Sivola’s odds at Cheltenham reduced (he’s 50/1 overall and NRNB 33s for the more careful reader) and disabilities could quickly become a thing of the past.

Best sports bets for 2022

At a similar price and also entered Ascot, the Nicholls-trained Rouge Vif also deserves a brief mention as he was kicked as if he had turned a new leaf on Ditcheat’s gallops during the recovery from wind-blowing surgery. been in the Shloer.

He didn’t run too badly at the halfway point but, after pulling his head at the start, stopped as planned for three (truncated) outings in a row, he has now been beaten by 20 lengths. or more.

This is clearly not his true form as he has shown sparks of genuine class for Harry Whittington and if one can get him back it will be Nicholls, but it seems like a very risky endeavor as most of his peak efforts have come from on flatter – or left-handed – slopes it therefore seems rather unlikely to improve its claims at Ascot.

Posted at 2:00 p.m. GMT on 05/01/2012

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