THE WILLIE MULLINS STRANGLEHOLD
Willie Mullins holds two ace cards in this year’s renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and with Sprinter Sacre no longer around, it looks like the County Carlow trainer has this sewn up. Un De Sceaux, last year’s runner up is a quality horse in his own right but compared to his esteemed stable mate, Douvan, he’s got some work to do. Douvan is, quite frankly, an equine marvel of steeple chasing splendour and it will take something extraordinary to stop Douvan landing this. For those who are confident on taking out the odds on about Douvan can head to Betfred - Bet Here! for a 1/3 Non-Runner No Bet deal. The record for favourites in this race has been good so we’ll take a look at where the each way value can be found.
Hot favourite Douvan bounding away with last year’s Arkle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
WILL ALTIOR TAKE ON DOUVAN?
The prospect of Altior taking his place in the Champion Chase has been all but written off by trainer Nicky Henderson, with the preference being firmly on the Arkle road on Day One. Henderson has been quoted as saying that Mullins has had a poor run of luck so deserves to take the Champion Chase! Nevertheless, stranger things have happened in this game and if you think Altior might turn up, there is 5/2 (Non-Runner-No Bet) available with BetVictor - Bet Here!.
IS IT WORTH CHASING FOX NORTON?
Fox Norton has had a fairly solid season, notching up two decent wins at Cheltenham but was firmly put to the sword by Altior in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury by 13 lengths a fortnight ago. Let’s also not forget he was 11 lengths behind Douvan in last year’s Arkle Chase. He needs to improve to figure here and at 10/1 best (Betfred - Bet Here!, Non-Runner-No Bet) there isn’t much value to be had here.
Fox Norton has been prolific at Cheltenham this season but needs to improve for this year’s Champion Chase.
WHERE WILL UN DE SCEAUX END UP?
Un De Sceaux, the Mullins second string..and what a second string..is by far the quality horse behind Douvan. He was made to work at Sandown to beat Sire De Grugy earlier in the season but firmly laid his credentials with a resounding win over Uxizandre in the Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham. However, he represents a betting quandary as he is dual entered for the Ryanair Chase as well as this. Mullins has strongly hinted that Un De Sceaux has answered the stamina questions for the Ryanair and it seems likely he will head for this option. Nevertheless, if you fancy the ante post gamble on Un De Sceaux he is available at 12/1 at Coral - Bet Here! but with full ante post rules. A safer option is available at bet365 - Bet Here! where he is 8/1 with Non-Runner No Bet.
GREAT EACH WAY VALUE FOR SIRE DE GRUGY!
By far the best value in the race is the price available for previous champion Sire de Grugy. If you forgive him unseating at Cheltenham last time out, you’re left with two outstanding bits of form including a decent win in a valuable Ascot handicap last autumn and his brilliant second to Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek at Sandown. Head to bet365 - Bet Here! and Betfred - Bet Here! for a great value 25/1 with Non-Runner No-Bet: this is probably one of the best each way bets available for this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Sire de Grugy represents great each way value in this year’s Champion Chase.
This should be a procession for Douvan. Question marks are abound with the rest as final decisions regarding Un De Sceaux and Altior’s destinations are still to be decided. Therefore, the value should be seized on Sire De Grugy for the each way option.
Good luck with The Champion Chase and all races at The Cheltenham Festival! Visit our dedicated Cheltenham Festival page here to keep up to date with the action!