Horse Racing Cheltenham Festival By Jon Ivan-Duke

Sprinter Drifts After Failing to Dodge Defeat

Sprinter Sacre is out to 5-2 favourite from 7-4 with William Hill for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, after finishing second to Dodging Bullets at Ascot in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase. Nicky Henderson’s superstar who was returning to a competitive race for the first time since pulling up in December 2013 in the Desert Orchid Chase, showed glimpses of his old ability but could not get past Dodging Bullets who has now halved in price for Cheltenham to 6-1 from 12-1.

“There were signs that Sprinter Sacre may just have needed the run and Dodging Bullets held the match fitness, but the winner has really improved this season and deserves to be talked about with Cheltenham on the horizon,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke. “Sprinter Sacre remains the worst result in our antepost book on the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but the market will really kick in to gear now we’ve seen him back on the track.”

Queen Mother Champion Chase: 5-2 Sprinter Sacre, 9-2 Sire De Grugy, 6-1 Dodging Bullets, 8-1 Champagne Fever, 9-1 Al Ferof, 16-1 Don Cossack, Uxizandre, 20-1 Balder Succes, Hidden Cyclone, Simply Ned, Special Tiara, Twinlight, 33-1 Ballycasey, Bright New Dawn, Captain Conan, Clarcam, Eduard, Johns Spirit, Moscow Mannon, Mr Mole, Somersby, 40-1 BAR (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)