Cyclone To Blow Rivals Away In BoyleSports Champion Chase
BoyleSports Champion Chase
Although Willie Mullins’ Vautour, was withdrawn from Tuesday’s Grade 1 Champion Chase having not impressed on the gallops at the weekend, Mullins still has a firm grip on the race thanks to Champagne Fever.
Fever Hits Punchestown
Installed as the new 7/4 favourite following Vautour’s defection, Champagne Fever will be bidding for his first Grade 1 win, having landed a couple of Grade 2’s this term – the second of those when coming 4l clear of Texas Jack at Gowran Park in February (2m4f, soft).
Beaten 32l on good ground at Aintree following that, it could well be that this 8yo needs softer conditions to be at his best, so any rain would increase his chance.
Siding with those that arrived for this race having participated in a Grade 1 event the time before has also proven a good policy down the years…
Of the last 10 Champion Chase winners…
10 won four or more chases – others were 0-23
9 returned 8/1 or shorter – others were 1-34
9 won during their last three runs
8 ran in a Grade 1 last time
8 made the top two last time
6 ran at Cheltenham last time
H De Bromhead & P Nicholls won it twice each
Cyclone To Blow Rivals Away?
With all bar one of the last 10 Champion Chase winners having returned at 8/1 or shorter, some investors may look to Shark Hanlon’s, Hidden Cyclone (7/2).
This 10yo was a faller at the fifth when going well in this race 12 months ago, but got his reputation on track this season when landing a Grade 2 over this C&D in February (soft). He was then beaten 25l in the Ryanair Chase over 2m5f having raced too freely in the early part of the race, so this step back to 2m will help.
Rain Could Suit Twinlight
Another at the right end of the market is Champagne Fever’s stablemate, Twinlight (6/1), who avoided Cheltenham and opted instead for a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse (2m, soft), where he took care of Mallowney (15/2) by 7l. Beaten into sixth place in this race last year on good ground, the forecast rain could make all the difference to his chances, having won his first Grade 1 in December when beating Hidden Cyclone almost 5l on heavy ground.
Mullins also has further options via the improving 9yo, Felix Yonger (15/2), who has won his last three outings, including two Grade 2’s. The second of those was over 2m4f, and he is another who may need a drop of rain to bring his stamina into play.
But, could there be a shock in store – after all, how can anyone ever dismiss the old warrior, Sizing Europe (12/1)? Although a 13yo these days, he knows what it takes to win this race should the main protagonists flop.
Flemenstar also brings a host of experience to the race, and while further would be ideal, he did win a Grade 2 over this trip in November and could represent each-way value at 16/1.
A race that has been thrown wide open with Vautour on the sidelines, but that could present an opportunity for Hidden Cyclone, who has been fitted with blinkers which could make all the difference.
*Prices correct at time of publication.