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Sizing Europe can be rare back-to-back Champion Chase winner

| 01.03.2012

Horses have struggled to defend their Champion Chase crowns in recent years, but it is hard to oppose Sizing Europe accomplishing this feat at 11/10 in the Cheltenham odds.

Of the 11 horses to have attempted to defend a Champion Chase title since 1995, only Master Minded has been successful in this quest.

However, competition looks seemingly thin on the ground for Sizing Europe and there are plenty of statistics that work in his favour.

Some two thirds of the last 27 Champion Chase winners already held a Festival victory on their resume and this fact rules out many of the leading protagonists this year.

This includes Finian’s Rainbow who has failed to win on either of his two Cheltenham career starts.

Furthermore, those towards the head of the Cheltenham betting tend to dominate, with only Newmill in the last 30 years going off at a bigger starting price than 11/1.

One of Sizing Europe’s victories already this season came in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and eight of the last 11 Champion Chase winners had competed in that race.

Therefore, punters looking for an alternative to Sizing Europe may want to consider another horse to run in the Tingle Creek.

Pricewise has tipped Wishfull Thinking as his outside Champion Chase contender and he blew his chance at Sandown when setting off far too quickly.

If ridden with more restraint at Cheltenham, he could have place claims at worst at 16/1.

Meanwhile, there are whispers that Sandown runner up Kauto Stone may re-oppose again even though the chief Festival aim was thought to be the Ryanair Chase over an extended trip.

It is 16/1 that he makes a successful return to 2m with a Champion Chase victory, which is a race previously contested by his illustrious sibling Kauto Star.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.