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Queen Mother Champion Chase tips - The runners and odds for the Cheltenham highlight

Jon Wilde in Wed. 15th March 10 Mar 2015
Dodging Bullets @ 11/2 with Sky Bet
Dodging Bullets (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Dodging Bullets can upstage previous winners Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy by landing the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the highlight on day two of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

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One of two emerging Paul Nicholls-trained runners who are bidding to overturn the duo at the head of the market, Dodging Bullets (11/2 with Sky Bet) can confirm superiority against Sprinter Sacre from their Ascot meeting in January.

Bred by Frankie Dettori, the seven-year-old is unbeaten this season after capturing the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and then Ascot’s Clarence House Chase, which was the scene of Sprinter Sacre’s comeback after 13 months off the track.

Nicky Henderson’s former champion ran very respectably after the heart problems that ruled him out of last year’s Cheltenham Festival but had no answer as Dodging Bullets swept by him between the final two fences, the winning margin being three lengths.

Clearly Sprinter Sacre (3/1 with 888sport) should be fitter for that outing, but he looks very much one to take on as doubts remain as to whether he is anything like as good as when he annihilated all-comers in his first two campaigns over fences.


Sprinter Sacre ridden by Barry Geraghty (Getty Images)

Sire De Grugy (10/3 with Sky Bet) was the horse that took the crown in Sprinter Sacre’s absence, but he has not done enough this term in his two runs to suggest he is in quite the same form as 12 months ago.

Gary Moore’s gelding was looking held by Mr Mole at Newbury when he unseated his rider and it could be that Nicholls’ other runner, ridden by Tony McCoy, could turn out to be the biggest danger to his stable companion Dodging Bullets.

Mr Mole (9/1 with Sky Bet), who is also a seven-year-old, is improving rapidly and the younger contingent look the duo to side with against their more senior rivals.

Of the remainder, this speed test may just prove a shade too quick for Champagne Fever (6/1 with Boylesports), who weakened on the run-in of the King George VI Chase over three miles, while northern raider Simply Ned holds each-way claims without looking good enough to repeat the 1998 success of One Man for Brian Harding and the Richards family.

Sizing Europe is a third former winner of the race, back in 2011, but well into the veteran stage now and appears to be on the downgrade.


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Queen Mother Champion Chase tips - The runners and odds for the Cheltenham highlight

Dodging Bullets can upstage previous winners Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy by landing the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the highlight on day two of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

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