We can only hope that this year’s Champion Chase lives-up to the hype, as last year’s scintillating Arkle winner Un De Sceaux takes on the last 3 Champion Chasers in Dodging Bullets, Sire Du Grugy and Sprinter Sacre. There are no overbearing statistics for the race – so let’s waste no time as we take look at this year’s runners.
Dodging bullets 16/1
Bids to mirror retired stablemate Master Minded by winning back-to-back Champion Chases, but has had an interrupted preparation this year.
Felix Yonger 16/1
Farmed Irish Graded Chases in recent times, but not against the quality of today’s opposition. Finished 2nd in the 2012 Neptune Hurdle, and 4th in the 2014 Ryan Air Chase.
Gods Own 33/1
Finished a 6-length runner-up to Un De Sceaux in last year’s Arkle, and it’s hard to see him closing the gap.
Just Cameron 150/1
Owes his rating to his 3-length second to Un De Sceaux at last year’s Punchestown Festival, but he’s got plenty to find to take a part in the finish.
Sire Du Grugy 20/1
Beat Somersby 6 lengths to win the 2014 renewal, and returned from injury to win this season’s Tingle Creek. Seemingly put in his place by Un De Sceaux at Ascot, and may have to settle for third place.
Sizing Granite 33/1
Beat Gods Own in the big Aintree Novice Chase last year, but even that form shouldn’t be anywhere near good enough, and he’s not been in great form this season.
Deserves a change of fortune, but isn’t likely to get one at the age of 12 against this opposition. Runner-up in both 2014 and 2015.
Special Tiara 20/1
Keeps on improving, and may well have won this season’s Tingle Creek if avoiding interference. Only third last year though, and this looks tougher.
Sprinter Sacre 6/1
Rated as high as 188 after winning this in 2013, and looked back to somewhere near that form when winning here earlier in the season. Not so good since, but bounces off good ground, and could really serve it up to the favourite with the stable already amongst the winners.
Un De Sceaux 5/6
The sky is the limit, and lots of Arkle winners have followed-up in the next season’s Champion Chase. Looks sure to set a decent pace, and could stay out in front.
The only horse who looks capable of beating an inform Un De Sceaux would appear to be Sprinter Sacre, and at an each-way price he looks the value bet.
Sprinter Sacre @ 6/1 (Betfair Sportsbook)