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2012 Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase Best Odds and Favourites

Big Zeb squares up to Sizing Europe again

4th March 2012 / Lee A Jackson
Cheltenham Festival

2012 Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase Best Odds and Favourites has to start with a look at Sizing Europe, who is pretty much eating up the competition in the betting market at the moment. The Queen Mother Champion Chase will be run on Wednesday, March 14th this year at Prestbury Park and is one of the high profile feature races of the festival. Sizing Europe is back for the defence of his title here at the Cheltenham Festival, and is shaping up to be one of the bankers for this year’s card. Sizing Europe has been shaping up so well for his defence, that the bookies are clearly afraid of him. The biggest telling point of how ready Sizing Europe is for the 2012 Queen Mother Chase, was his display at Punchestown at the start of February, when he took on Big Zeb and crushed his opponent by fifteen lengths. Sizing Europe had beaten Big Zeb to the line in last year’s Queen Mother Chase, and prior to this recent meeting with Big Zeb, Sizing Europe had gone out and demolished a field at Sandown in December, finishing eight lengths clear of Kauto Stone. That is why Sizing Europe is trading so short in the ante post betting prices for the 2012 Queen Mother Champion Chase and is as short as Evens pretty much across the board, including at popular online bookmaker Bet365.

So is there a real challenger to Sizing Europe as we look at 2012 Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase Best Odds and Favourites? Or is the Henry De Bromhead’s charge just going to turn up and go through the routines and taste glory again? There aren’t many going against it happening at the moment, and Sizing Europe, along with Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle look someone of the strongest bets at the Festival this year. Well, let’s look at the challengers to Sizing Europe anyway, and we have to start with Big Zeb. This is the biggest threat to Sizing Europe, and still was obliterated in their recent meeting, so does that give Big Zeb any chance at Cheltenham? Well, really on paper he should be able too, because these two rivals have gone head to head before, and Big Zeb has come out on top, edging home last may at Punchestown ahead of the Queen Mother favourite. It really hasn’t been a bad season at all for Big Zeb, but there will be question marks after the showing at Punchestown. Let’s not forget that Big Zeb is a previous winner of this race, back in 2010. Has he got a response to get back at Sizing Europe? The bookies are hesitant with him trading at 4/1 around the markets, currently best priced at 5/1 with Boylesports.

Finnian’s Rainbow may also get in amongst the action as well. Finnian’s Rainbow is Britain’s leading hope of success in 2012 Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase Best Odds and Favourites, but failed to get the better of Somersby at a wet looking Ascot in January. Finnian’s Rainbow finished second behind Captain Chris in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival but has now been targeted for a crack at the Queen Mother Chase. After beating Wishfull Thinking at Kempton in December, Finnian’s Rainbow couldn’t make it two wins from two starts this season, not having quite enough in the last 100 metres or so to battle Somersby. Still, there is some potential there and he will be decently backed as a home hope, and the bookies have drawn him in to a respectable 5/1 at Bet365. That’s a pretty decent price for the shot that he is. The odds for the rest of the 2012 Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase Best Odds and Favourites starting really drifting out from there, starting with Somersby at 14/1 with Stan James and Wishfull Thinking back at 16/1.

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