Queen Mother Champion Chase

Cheltenham Festival fever appears to have hit the country and I’ve been swamped with calls from friends, family and acquaintances asking me what I like for next week.

Very few of my friends and family (for that read 0) understand the concept of value and when I explain to them I’m not hunting for winners, I’m hunting for value their eyes glaze over and they say “just give me a winner.”

The whole thing is getting to be a damn headache. Not the festival, I’m looking forward to that, just the once or twice a year bettors expecting me to pull a winner out of my a**e.

Does that sound grumpy and uncharitable?

Good, because that’s how I’m feeling!

I’ll get over it – I just need to decide what I consider the most likely winner of the week and wear it’s name on a sign around my neck


More Cheltenham Gossip:

French bred Saphir River, another of the French horses widely believed to be well in on their UK handicap mark, has created waves with a spectacular piece of work he did at Newbury on Sunday. Michael Scudamore said the he worked “very, very well” and he’s “a very exciting horse”

Saphir’s most likely target is the Pertemps Final and he might be worth a small each way interest at the currently available 25/1


The Queen Mother Champion Chase

The Queen Mother has always been my favourite race of the festival It has seen some fantastic ding dong battles and some amazing horses over the years. Two of my all time favourite horses, Viking Flagship and Moscow Flyer, have been multiple winners of this and it’s always the race I get most excited about each year.

That being said, this years event looks a fairly weak renewal with little strength in depth (in my opinion, I know others disagree!).

There are only 2 likely winners for me, Sizing Europe and Finian’s Rainbow, and I would have them much closer in the betting than our bookmaking friends have.

I give Finian’s rainbow a very decent chance of beating Sizing Europe, whose performances this season and last, I feel, have been seriously over rated. I still make Sizing Europe favourite(about 2/1 on my book) but not by much and all of the value lies in the 5/1 available for Finian’s Rainbow.

Finian’s Rainbow is my biggest bet of the festival at 5/1 each way


¬†Finally today, I thought I’d point readers in the direction of a decent free betting resource.

Daily Punt is, as the name would suggest, a daily email giving general betting advice and normally a specific daily tip. I’ve been writing a few articles for them over recent months and they have a decent team put together over there. It’s completely free to sign up for the emails and they know what they are talking about.

Sign up free for the Daily Punt here


That’s it for today, I’ll be back with my thoughts on the World Hurdle in the coming days.

Be lucky





  1. Blimey Kieran. Sorry to say that I would happily pass Finian’s!

    I hope I’m wrong, and that he nicks a place for you. I’m all over Sizing. You can only beat what’s there, and he’s done it with stamina, style and panache from where I’m watching.

    Finian’s has dodged most of the good horses, and got beaten by one of the all right ones…

    Like I say, I hope I’m at least partially wrong, but he doesn’t half look a weak finisher to me: another Henderson bridle job…


    1. Hi Matt

      Thanks for your comment

      I know where you’re coming from Matt but I firmly believe that Finian’s Arkle run from last year would have been good enough to win the Queen Mother. He was only outstayed in, in a fast run race, by Captain Chris who is an exceptional horse over 2 miles at Cheltenham. This race looks to me like it will be run at a steadier pace and will play right into the hands of Finians.

      I’m not convinced that he can beat Sizing Europe but I really can’t see anything troubling him for 2nd spot. I make them 2/1 Sizing, 3/1 Finians, 10/1 bar and with a market like that, I would be remiss if I didn’t go in heavy!



  2. Fair play mate. That does also beg the question as to whether you’re getting stuck in to – or at least tickling – the aforementioned Captain in the Champion Chase.

    Many a horse has been rejuvenated at Cheltenham…


    1. Hi Matt

      I certainly will be getting involved on Captain Chris if he goes for the Ryanair – I think he might get home over 2m5f. There’s no way I will back him if they decide to go for the Gold Cup. I’ve got more chance of staying 31/4 miles round Cheltenham than he has.



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