Big Zeb may not be the favourite in the betting for this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, but some wise money may soon go on him as he prepares to embark on the same preparation that led him to victory in the race last year.
Colm Murphy’s horse upset Master Minded to win at the Cheltenham Festival in March and is a decent price at 7/2 to do so again, particularly given his recent form.
Big Zeb has won both of his starts this season in Ireland and is on a four-race winning streak overall.
His final run before this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase is to be in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown later this month, which was a race he won en route to his Cheltenham victory last year.
And Murphy is pleased with the way his horse has begun the season and remains confident of defending his title at Cheltenham.
He said: “We’re delighted with him, he’s very well. He’s working well and we couldn’t be happier with him.”
Another element in Big Zeb’s favour for Cheltenham is that he has shown an ability to get the job done in various underfoot conditions.
Although he prefers better ground, Big Zeb put up a worthy display in heavy conditions to secure victory on his latest start.
He also has the added advantage of a proven relationship with regular jockey Barry Geraghty, who has ridden the horse in each of his last eight starts.
Master Minded is the 7/4 favourite in the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting odds, while stablemate Woolcombe Folly is quietly fancied to witness success at 6/1.
A £25 stake on Tataniano winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase would return £300. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.