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Queen Mother Champion Chase 2012
Wed, Mar 14th, 2012

Sizing Europe was many peoples idea of a Cheltenham Festival banker but it wsa not to be as the 2011 Champion got overhauled by Finian's Rainbow in a tight finish. This was the fourth leg of Conor Murphy's £50 to £1 miliion accumulator bet. He rides out Finian's Rainbow in his work.

Pos.

Horse

SP

Age

Jockey

Trainer

1

Finian's Rainbow (IRE)

4/1

9

B J Geraghty

N J Henderson

2

Sizing Europe (IRE)

4/5

10

A E Lynch

H De Bromhead

3

Big Zeb (IRE)

13/2

11

R M Power

C A Murphy

4

Gauvain (GER)

20/1

10

N Fehily

Nick Williams

5

Realt Dubh (IRE)

14/1

8

P Carberry

N Meade

6

I'm So Lucky

66/1

10

T Scudamore

D Pipe

F

Kauto Stone (FR)

14/1

6

R Walsh

P F Nicholls

F

Wishfull Thinking

16/1

9

R Johnson

P J Hobbs

Here is our pre-race preview :

We have got the Leopardstown Preview video from Boylesports and stable tours from the De Bromhead and Murphy yards. Last years winner Sizing Europe has gone the old Moscow Flyer route winning the Tingle Creek and Tied Cottage chases this season. Sizing Europe's  Cheltenham form figures are 1101 ( the zero was in a Champion Hurdle he looked like winning before being pulled up) and at a best price of 11/10 he is the one they all have to beat. Is the old champ Big Zeb (5/1) too old now ? He did turn the tables with Sizing Europe last year at the Punchestown Festival but was well beaten last time. Can Finian's Rainbow improve enough to win this? Will Somersby run in this or in Thursdays Ryanair Chase ? The latest reports from Paul Nicholls suggest this will be Kauto Stone's festival target.

Bookmaker Offers: Sportingbet have taken over sponsorship of the race and we would expect them to have some competitive offers in the run up to the race. This year the race has a raging hot favorite in the returning Champion Sizing Europe. While often the bookies like to lay a short priced horse having looked at the opposition we can't see them knocking one another over to lay Sizing Europe. It will be interesting to see what the bookies come up with to draw in the punters.

We think the top three free bet offers right now are with Bet365, Paddy Power and Stan James. Bet365 are guaranteeing prices and have up to £200 in free bets on a matched deposit basis. Paddy Power will give up to £200 in free bets based on your stake. Paddy are a great bookie for money back specials. Stan James have up to £150 in free bets based on matched and average stake basis. Click on the links on our side bar to claim your free bet. They would also be our top three for betting apps with VCBet close behind.

Queen Mother Champion Chase 2012 Jockey Tips :You can get free tips for Queen Mother Champion Chase Day from Barry Geraghty, Richard Johnson, Robert Thornton and Jason Maguire here. These jockeys have ridden five of the last ten winners of the race so should know what to look out for in a winning horse ! We expect three time Champion Chase winner Barry Geraghty to ride Finian's Rainbow in the race and would expect Richard Johnson to be on the "Pricewise" antepost pick Wishful Thinking. Jason Maguire has a potential ride in Peddlers Cross but that horse is more likely to run in the Jewsone Chase. We don't see an obvious ride for Robert Thornton this year but he has won this race before on Voy Por Ustedes.

About the race :The Champion Chase is the feature race on the second day and one of the "big three" Cheltenham Festival Races. The race is run over twelve eight fences on the old course at Cheltenham and over a distance of 2 miles 110 yards.Since it was established in 1959 winning this race had become the ultimate accolade for two mile chasers .The roll of honour includes the multiple winners Fortria, Badsworth Boy, Viking Flagship and Moscow Flyer and on one occasion only the legendary Flyingbolt.

Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase Entries (and our guess at Runners and Jockeys)

This race could easily end up have a very low number of runners.

Apart from the top two on official ratings, Sizing Europe and Big Zeb, virtually every other entry in this race has a possible alternative target. The novices Al Ferof and Peddlers Cross are more likely to run in the Arkle Trophy Chase and Somersby has the option of the Ryanair. Henrietta Knight indicated that this was the horses more likely target after Somersby outstayed Finian's Rainbow to land the Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot in January. That was career best effort by Finian's Rainbow and the increase in official rating from 157 to 164 he received on the back of that performance moved the horse from to 3rd on the list of possible runners when ranked by official rating. 

Rank

Horse

Age

Weight

Trainer

Jockey

OR

1

Sizing Europe (IRE)

10

11-10

Henry De Bromhead

Andrew Lynch

177

2

Big Zeb (IRE)

11

11-10

C A Murphy

Robbie Power

174

3

Finian's Rainbow (IRE)

9

11-10

N J Henderson

Barry Geraghty

164

4

Gauvain (GER)

10

11-10

Nick Williams

Noel Fehily

162

5

Kauto Stone (FR)

6

11-10

P F Nicholls

Ruby Walsh

162

6

Wishfull Thinking

9

11-10

P J Hobbs

Richard Johnson

162

7

Realt Dubh (IRE)

8

11-10

N Meade

Paul Carberry

157

 8

I'm So Lucky

 10

 11-10

D Pipe

 Tom Scudamore

150 

 

Top Jockeys without an obvious ride in the 2012 Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase include  Tony McCoy, Robert Thornton, Davy Russell and Timmy Murphy. Latest odds below.

 

Without the favourite betting : Sizing Europe is a very warm favourite and has this seasons most impressive form. It may be worth considering a bet without the favourite.

CLICK TO SEE OUR TOP 5 CHELTENHAM FREE BET OFFERS

Tips and News from Cheltenham Previews : The Racing Post's tipster "Pricewise" has selected Wishful Thinking as his antepost pick for the race. Andrew Lynch and Robbie Power both gave positive reports on Sizing Europe and Big Zeb at the Tipperary Preview. There is more on the Queen Mother Champion Chase thread.

We Tom Segal, Willie Mullins and Davy Russell's thoughts on the race from the Boylesports Leopardstown preview here:

We have a video below ( courtesy of the racing post ) from Sizing Europe trainer Henry de Bromhead talking about his stable star and other Cheltenham entries.

 and in opur final video Big Zeb's Trainer Colm Murphy talks about his Cheltenham Festival Team

Queen Mother Champion Chase Winners since 2002

Year

Winner

Trainer

Jockey

Age

SP

2011

Sizing Europe

Henry De Bromhead

Andrew Lynch

9

10/1

2010

Big Zeb

Colm A Murphy

B J Geraghty

9

10/1

2008

Master Minded

P Nicholls

R Walsh

6

4/11f

2008

Master Minded

P Nicholls

R Walsh

5

3/1

2007

Voy Por Ustedes

A King

R Thornton

6

5/1

2006

Newmill

J J Murphy

A J McNamara

8

16/1

2005

Moscow Flyer

Mrs J Harrington

B Geraghty

11

6-4f

2004

Azertyuiop

P F Nicholls

R Walsh

7

15/1

2003

Moscow Flyer

Mrs J Harrington

B Geraghty

9

7-4f

2002

Flagship Uberalles

P J Hobbs

R Johnson

8

7-4f

 

Fat Stats : Fat Jockey Champion Chase Trends

Last Run: 8 of the last 10 winners have won their prep run. Sizing Europe overcame this stat in 2011 - it may have been a factor in the horse being sent off at 10/1. The last nine winners had their last run between 32 and 55 days before the race.

Age Although the last two winners have been aged 9 Moscow Flyer has been the only winner since 2002 to be aged over 9. This is a negative for both the ten year old Sizing Europe and eleven year old Big Zeb. Big Zeb will be exceptional to win at 11, Moscow Flyer was the only winner aged over 10 in last 30 years.

Jockeys and Trainers Ruby Walsh/Paul Nicholls have won this three times in the last decade but we are uncertain if they will have a runner this year with Al Ferof more likely to head to the Arkle and Kauto Stone to the Ryanair. This may free Ruby to ride Willie Mullin's mare Blazing Tempo? Philip Hobbs does well when he puts one in the race, of his four runners in the last decade one has one and two placed. Barry Geraghty has won the race three times in the last ten years and was runner up last year on Big Zeb.

Breeding: Irish and French breds dominate but also make up most of the field.

Starting Price: Favourites have taken 4 of the last 10 but only 1 of the 6 six renewals. Ten year finishing position for the favourite is 11U1FF2148.

Trial Races 8 of the last 10 winners have contested the Tingle Creek.The previous years Arkle has been a good pointer to this with Moscow Flyer, Azertyioup, Voy Por Ustedes and Sizing Europe following up. Well Chief and Forpadytheplasterer came back to finish second after winning the novice event. Should we ignore Arkle form with last year's winner Captain Chris not entered ? Finian's Rainbow was only narrowly beaten in the Arkle Chase last year.   

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