GRAEME JOHNSTON (@GraemeJ_83) provides his expert analysis on Wednesday’s highlight, the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Queen Mother Champion Chase | Wednesday 15.30 | Channel 4
The highlight of the season for 2-mile Champion chasers, this is a tremendous renewal. We have the last three winners of the race lining up along with last season’s Arkle champion and I cannot wait to watch this.
It promises to be fast and furious and even though Un De Sceaux is odds-on (8/11 Ladbrokes), he will have plenty of opposition in the betting ring.
I have backed Un De Sceaux ante-post and I expect him to win here. People point out that he has fallen twice in his chase career but he has won all 14 completed starts and this is a better win ratio than anything else in the field.
Un De Sceaux is a hugely talented horse and I fully expect him to win but as I’ve already backed him, I’ll look for something else to select on the day.
I love Sprinter Sacre. As good as Un De Sceaux looks, he would be playing for second place behind SS in his prime and I was delighted to see him return to the winners enclosure at Cheltenham earlier in the season.
He followed that up by grinding out a victory over Sire De Grugy in the Desert Orchid Chase and he comes here with the best domestic form on offer. I would love to see him win this, but I think he will fall just short and I’m not backing him on Wednesday.
Special Tiara was third in this last year and in my opinion was unlucky behind Sire De Grugy last time out. He is a spring horse and I think he will run a huge race here, but I’m looking elsewhere for my selection.
Dodging Bullets won this last season but he met with some setbacks over the summer and wasn’t seen until the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury, where he was slightly disappointing in second.
However, watching that back I see a lot of positives. Firstly, Dodging Bullets’ jumping was fantastic until about three out when he tired. He travelled well in ground that was softer than ideal and I expect him to improve significantly for that run.
The better ground here, tied in with his race fitness, makes me think he will be involved in the finish and I can’t believe the price he is available at. So I make Dodging Bullets a confident each-way selection for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Queen Mother Champion Chase – Dodging Bullets (12/1 each-way Ladbrokes)
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