DODGING BULLETS could be good value at 5-1 to ‘upstage’ former winners Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy in tomorrow’s Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on day two of the Cheltenham Festival (3.20pm).
‘Upstage’ may be the wrong terminology because Dodging Bullets beat Sprinter Sacre by three lengths in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase at Ascot last time and there was no fluke about it.
True, the popular Sprinter Sacre was coming back from a long lay-off and will probably benefit enormously from the run, but he is now nine-years-old and seven-year-old Dodging Bullets may be open to more improvement.
Dodging Bullets still has eight pounds to find with Sprinter Sacre on the figures but he had over double that to find when beating him last time and Sprinter Sacre’s rating is based on his 2012-2013 form, not now.
It would be a fairytale to see Sprinter Sacre return to winning ways but there’s a clearly a question mark as to whether he is still the same horse he once was? Sire De Grugy’s woeful performance two runs ago is too fresh in the memory for him to be recommended and Dodging Bullets just looks a nice price at 5-1 for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies.
It is hoped we’re in profit anyway after the first day’s Willie Mullins big four but Mullins has two more strong fancies tomorrow in Nichols Canyon in the Neptune (1.30pm) and Don Poli in the RSA (2.05pm).
Nichols Canyon looks a fair enough bet at 4s but with Don Poli only 5-2, the solid Kings Palace is preferred at 4s.
Tomorrow’s other four races are minefields but Nicholls’ Aux Ptits Soins could be thrown in if he squeezes into the Coral Cup (2.40pm).
Best of luck with your bets!