A fascinating Champion Chase returns with nine heading to post for the feature race on Wednesday. Not many horses are capable of landing back-to-back renewals of this race and Special Tiara has had conditions go against him in recent weeks.
He’s bidding to be the first horse since Masterminded to achieve the feat of consecutive Champion Chase wins and Henry De Bromhead’s stable star would have been in with at least place claims again if he had got his good ground. However, he looks up against it now and his form on soft has been advertised poorly again this season, beaten more than 12 lengths by Min last time out.
With the news on Monday afternoon that Altior was found to be lame in the morning and had puss in his foot, it makes the race a complex betting puzzle and he may be best avoided at odds-on.
Douvan to Win and Each-Way @ 9/2 - BET NOW
Given that Ruby Walsh has opted to ride Douvan over stablemate Min, the gelding is taken to get his head back in front after a very poor run in this race last year. While he comes with similar risks attached to those Altior brings to the race, those factors have been built in to his price and he has the class to win this given he is a two-time Festival winner and has only lost once since joining this stable.
While it is disconcerting he has not been seen since last year’s disappointing effort, connections may have wanted to keep him away from ground too testing. He clearly handles most conditions but it would be ideal for a horse bidding to regain confidence to run him in the desperate ground that has been suffered in Ireland over much of the last three months.
However, it is likely the trainer will have him back to his best and the stable jockey very rarely picks the wrong horse in this class of race, He is the one to be with out of the front three in the market.
Politologue to Win and Each-Way @ 14/1 - BET NOW
Those looking for an each-way bet will surely be considering the claims of Paul Nicholls Politologue. While he would probably need all three at the head of the market to under-perform markedly for him to win the race, he may only need one below par performance from those rivals to place.
He is the one out of the remainder of the field who will act on the ground here and he comes in to this in good form for a trainer who has an outstanding record in the race, having won it with the likes of Master Minded and Dodging Bullets. Politologue would be a sixth success in the race for the former Champion Trainer and he looks a couple of points over-priced here.
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