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15:20 Cheltenham: Sizing Europe can chase home Sprinter Sacre

| 13.03.2013

With Sprinter Sacre seemingly unstoppable in the Queen Mother Champion chase, punters will be better served delving into the place markets, unless they’re willing to put the mortgage on last year’s Arkle Chase victor.

A microscopic 1/5 is on offer for the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding to add the Queen Mother to his prestigious arsenal of silverware, though, at 6/1, an each-way punt on last season’s runner-up in this race, Sizing Europe, may be the nag to place your each-way faith in.

Having won the race in 2011, he’s proved his credentials over a 2m trip but, with age creeping up on him, there’s a reasonable case to argue that his ideal distance is 2m4f where he can rely on stamina over the more fleet of foot.

History doesn’t favour Sizing either; there’s only been one winner of this race aged older than 10 since 1977.

However, with Sprinter Sacre expected to dominate proceedings, there’s no reason to say he can’t come second, especially in a field as thinly spread as this one.

Mail de Bievre also represents an interesting place prospect.

The eight-year-old put in a strong performance in the Denman Chase – a 3m trip – over the first two thirds, but faded as his stamina dwindled. As this race is ran over 2m, Mail de Bievre can prove a threat if he can rediscover this pace come the big day. He’s available to back at 16/1.

A downside to backing this French-bred would be the fact that he has hardly raced on these shores, having being based across the channel until recently joining Tom George. His future races will be more Anglo-centric, but he’s got a touch of the unknown quantity about him which might put potential backers off.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton