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CHELTENHAM 15:20

13:3014:0514:4015:2016:0016:4017:15
< 15:20 >

15:20 Wednesday 11 March 2015

BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (Grade 1) (1)

Distance : 2m (Old)
Prize : £350,000 Age : 5yo+ Race Type : Chase Going : Good
Race Type : Chase
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Pedigree
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Race Reports
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Running Notes
Pos Pos Btn Horse Name Horse Name TFR Tfig Jockey Age Wgt ISP ISP BSP Hi/Lo
Pedigree Jockey & Trainer Trainer (Equip) (OR) (Place) BSP
1 1 Sam Twiston-Davies silk 3. DODGING BULLETS 3. DODGING BULLETS +3 <
161
-12 > Sam Twiston-Davies 7 11-10 9/25.5 9/25.5
Sam Twiston-Davies silk bg DUBAWI (IRE) - NOVA CYNGI (USA) KRIS S (USA) J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (t)
Paul Nicholls (t)
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has been a completely different horse since fitted with a tongue strap, winning the Tingle Creek, Clarence House and Champion Chase on the bounce, and although he isn't in quite the same league as some that have managed the same feat there's no doubt that he's been the best horse in the division - a below-par one this time around - over the course of the season so far, not needing to improve any more here, actually beating Somersby by less than he had at Sandown in December; he was prominent throughout but kept a few lengths off the leader until moving upsides after 3 out, still travelling strongly then and leading at the next where he wasn't totally fluent (jumped well otherwise), tackled from the last and battling well, his resolution certainly not questionable nowadays; with the exciting Arkle winner Un de Sceaux coming on the scene it's likely to be tougher for Dodging Bullets to win this again next year but he won't always come up against him and is young enough to potentially have a few years left in him at this level; he'll reportedly be given time off now ahead of next season.
prominent, challenged after 3 out, led next, not fluent there, tackled from last, kept on well
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2 2 Brian Hughes silk 9. SOMERSBY (IRE) 9. SOMERSBY (IRE) -17 <
159
-15 > Brian Hughes 11 11-10 33/134 33/134
Brian Hughes silk b g SECOND EMPIRE (IRE) - BACK TO ROOST (IRE) PRESENTING J: Brian Hughes
T: Mick Channon
Age: 11 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (s)
Mick Channon (s)
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has been competing at the top level for several years now, this his seventh Cheltenham Festival, and it's the fourth time that he's been placed at the meeting, still able to show the high-class form necessary to be competitive in Grade 1s even at the age of 11, briefly looking the winner of this as he came through to press Dodging Bullets; mid-division, crept closer before seventh, not fluent 4 out, close up next, every chance from the last but had no more to give late on.
mid-division, headway before 7th, not fluent 4 out, close up next, every chance from last, no extra late on
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3 3 Noel Fehily silk 10. SPECIAL TIARA 10. SPECIAL TIARA +7 <
157+
+8 > Noel Fehily 8 11-10 18/119 18/119
Noel Fehily silk bg KAYF TARA - SPECIAL CHOICE (IRE) BOB BACK (USA) J: Noel Fehily
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Age: 8 Wgt: 11-10
Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
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was better than ever when accounting for Balder Succes at Kempton 11 weeks ago and produced another career best to be placed in an open Grade 1 for the first time, arguably worth some extra credit given he was responsible for the fairly strong pace, but he does seem ideally suited by aggressive tactics; forced pace and was clear by the fourth, reduced advantage seventh, joined after 3 out, headed next, kept on.
led, well clear 4th, reduced advantage 7th, joined after 3 out, headed next, kept on
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4 4 Jamie Moore silk 7 7. SIRE DE GRUGY (FR) 7. SIRE DE GRUGY (FR) +19 <
147?
> Jamie Moore 9 11-10 5/23.5 5/23.5
Jamie Moore silk chg MY RISK (FR) - HIRLISH (FR) PASSING SALE (FR) J: Jamie Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10
Gary Moore
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had something of a rushed preparation, not back for the season until Newbury just over 4 weeks ago and then, after that hadn't gone to plan, given another run (on heavy ground) only 18 days ago, far from ideal coming back into a championship race, and he was some way below his best; held up, hit sixth, headway under pressure after 4 out, chased leaders before 2 out but failed to quicken; although it's easy to pick holes in his Chepstow form there was enough in that effort to suggest he at least retains most of his ability and, assuming he can stay injury free, there could well be more Grade 1s to be won with him, be it this season or next.
held up, hit 6th, headway under pressure after 4 out, chased leaders before 2 out, not quicken
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5 5 Brian Harding silk 7 6. SIMPLY NED (IRE) 6. SIMPLY NED (IRE) +13 <
138+
-10 > Brian Harding 8 11-10 14/115 14/115
Brian Harding silk chg FRUITS OF LOVE (USA) - BISHOPS LASS (IRE) MARJU (IRE) J: Brian Harding
T: Nicky Richards
Age: 8 Wgt: 11-10
Nicky Richards
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wasn't up to the task even in an ordinary renewal of the Champion Chase but would have been closer with a better round of jumping; raced off the pace, not always fluent, blundered 4 out, ridden soon after, stayed on from 2 out but never involved.
off pace, blundered 4 out, ridden soon after, stayed on from 2 out, never dangerous
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6 6 B. J. Cooper silk 5. SAVELLO (IRE) 5. SAVELLO (IRE) H (133) <
132?
-20 > B. J. Cooper 9 11-10 40/141 40/141
B. J. Cooper silk chg ANSHAN - FONTAINE FRANCES (IRE) LAFONTAINE (USA) J: B. J. Cooper
T: A. J. Martin, Ireland
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (h)
A. J. Martin, Ireland (h)
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won the Grand Annual at this meeting last year but has had only 3 starts this season, well held the twice he's been tried at this level, basically not up to it; in rear, bad mistake second, struggling 4 out, merely passed a couple of beaten horses.
rear, bad mistake 2nd, struggling 4 out, some late headway
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7 7 Jonathan Burke silk 9 8. SIZING EUROPE (IRE) 8. SIZING EUROPE (IRE) +23 <
120
Jonathan Burke 13 11-10 22/123 22/123
Jonathan Burke silk b g PISTOLET BLEU (IRE) - JENNIE DUN (IRE) MANDALUS J: Jonathan Burke
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Age: 13 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (s)
Henry de Bromhead, Ireland (s)
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is a 13-y-o now and maybe the Grade 2 win at Gowran in October was his last hurrah, certainly not up to competing in top Grade 1s any more judging by this; chased leader, not jump well, lost touch before 4 out, soon done with.
chased leader, not jump well, lost touch before 4 out, soon beaten
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8 8 A. P. McCoy silk 7 4. MR MOLE (IRE) 4. MR MOLE (IRE) +44 <
110
+41 > A. P. McCoy 7 11-10 13/27.5 13/27.5
A. P. McCoy silk brg GREAT PRETENDER (IRE) - EMMYLOU DU BERLAIS (FR) KADALKO (FR) J: A. P. McCoy
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (t)
Paul Nicholls (t)
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has made great strides this season, unbeaten up to now, but his winning/progress has all come in much less competitive races and perhaps he's just not one to perform on the big stage; chased leaders, not fluent on occasions, ridden before 3 out, weakened, beaten when mistake 2 out.
chased leaders, not fluent, ridden before 3 out, weakened, beaten when mistake 2 out
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pu pu Barry Geraghty silk 11. SPRINTER SACRE (FR) 11. SPRINTER SACRE (FR) <
+
> Barry Geraghty 9 11-10 9/43.25f 9/43.25f
Barry Geraghty silk b or brg NETWORK (GER) - FATIMA III (FR) BAYOLIDAAN (FR) J: Barry Geraghty
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10
Nicky Henderson
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put up one of the truly outstanding performances of all time when he won this with stacks in hand 2 years ago but the well-documented problems that he's had since have clearly taken their toll and he was clearly amiss 8 weeks after a satisfactory return behind Dodging Bullets at Ascot; mid-division, jumped well and took keen hold, headway 4 out, shaken up after next but found nothing and was quickly pulled up.
mid-division, jumped well, headway 4 out, shaken up after next, found nothing
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Non Runners: CHAMPAGNE FEVER (IRE), CLARCAM (FR). Fences: 13.

Winning Owner: Martin Broughton & Friends

Time: 3m 53.3s Closing Sectional: (3.55f): 55.20s (93.8%)

Overrounds: Industry SP 113%, Betfair SP 100.9%

A fascinating Champion Chase, full of imponderables, the outstanding 2013 winner Sprinter Sacre back to try and regain the crown having had all sorts of problems over the last 18 months, whilst last year's winner Sire de Grugy had also missed much of this season through injury; it was those two former winners that headed the pre-race ratings but neither of them were even close to their best, whilst Champagne Fever was a late non-runner, so it was a much weaker renewal in the event than looked possible beforehand, a point that's highlighted best by the fact that the 11-y-o Somersby and Special Tiara, who'd never quite looked up to this level previously, weren't beaten far into second/third, and it certainly isn't a vintage Champion Chase in form terms; the result is one to be believed, however, as Special Tiara set a good pace that made it fair to all, tactics not the reason why nothing held up got seriously involved.

DODGING BULLETS has been a completely different horse since fitted with a tongue strap, winning the Tingle Creek, Clarence House and Champion Chase on the bounce, and although he isn't in quite the same league as some that have managed the same feat there's no doubt that he's been the best horse in the division - a below-par one this time around - over the course of the season so far, not needing to improve any more here, actually beating Somersby by less than he had at Sandown in December; he was prominent throughout but kept a few lengths off the leader until moving upsides after 3 out, still travelling strongly then and leading at the next where he wasn't totally fluent (jumped well otherwise), tackled from the last and battling well, his resolution certainly not questionable nowadays; with the exciting Arkle winner Un de Sceaux coming on the scene it's likely to be tougher for Dodging Bullets to win this again next year but he won't always come up against him and is young enough to potentially have a few years left in him at this level; he'll reportedly be given time off now ahead of next season.

SOMERSBY (IRE) has been competing at the top level for several years now, this his seventh Cheltenham Festival, and it's the fourth time that he's been placed at the meeting, still able to show the high-class form necessary to be competitive in Grade 1s even at the age of 11, briefly looking the winner of this as he came through to press Dodging Bullets; mid-division, crept closer before seventh, not fluent 4 out, close up next, every chance from the last but had no more to give late on.

SPECIAL TIARA was better than ever when accounting for Balder Succes at Kempton 11 weeks ago and produced another career best to be placed in an open Grade 1 for the first time, arguably worth some extra credit given he was responsible for the fairly strong pace, but he does seem ideally suited by aggressive tactics; forced pace and was clear by the fourth, reduced advantage seventh, joined after 3 out, headed next, kept on.

SIRE DE GRUGY (FR) had something of a rushed preparation, not back for the season until Newbury just over 4 weeks ago and then, after that hadn't gone to plan, given another run (on heavy ground) only 18 days ago, far from ideal coming back into a championship race, and he was some way below his best; held up, hit sixth, headway under pressure after 4 out, chased leaders before 2 out but failed to quicken; although it's easy to pick holes in his Chepstow form there was enough in that effort to suggest he at least retains most of his ability and, assuming he can stay injury free, there could well be more Grade 1s to be won with him, be it this season or next.

SIMPLY NED (IRE) wasn't up to the task even in an ordinary renewal of the Champion Chase but would have been closer with a better round of jumping; raced off the pace, not always fluent, blundered 4 out, ridden soon after, stayed on from 2 out but never involved.

SAVELLO (IRE) won the Grand Annual at this meeting last year but has had only 3 starts this season, well held the twice he's been tried at this level, basically not up to it; in rear, bad mistake second, struggling 4 out, merely passed a couple of beaten horses.

SIZING EUROPE (IRE) is a 13-y-o now and maybe the Grade 2 win at Gowran in October was his last hurrah, certainly not up to competing in top Grade 1s any more judging by this; chased leader, not jump well, lost touch before 4 out, soon done with.

MR MOLE (IRE) has made great strides this season, unbeaten up to now, but his winning/progress has all come in much less competitive races and perhaps he's just not one to perform on the big stage; chased leaders, not fluent on occasions, ridden before 3 out, weakened, beaten when mistake 2 out.

SPRINTER SACRE (FR) put up one of the truly outstanding performances of all time when he won this with stacks in hand 2 years ago but the well-documented problems that he's had since have clearly taken their toll and he was clearly amiss 8 weeks after a satisfactory return behind Dodging Bullets at Ascot; mid-division, jumped well and took keen hold, headway 4 out, shaken up after next but found nothing and was quickly pulled up.