Although nothing can be guaranteed in racing of any nature, it is exceedingly difficult to see Sprinter Sacre not winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase if he completes the race.
Sprinter Sacre’s price of 4/9 reflects his almost banker pedigree, but what this does mean is that there are plenty of other hopefuls at solid each-way prices to fill the other spots in the first three.
The immediate problem with those towards the head of the market is that for the majority, their Cheltenham plans are unclear.
Simonsig is almost certain to run in the Arkle Chase, while Flemenstar, Finian’s Rainbow, Sizing Europe and Cue Card are more likely to compete in the Ryanair Chase or the Cheltenham Gold Cup, over the Queen Mother.
As a seeming definite starter, this makes Sanctuaire a solid option at 10/1, especially after his victory off a market of 166 at Kempton’s Xmas meeting.
However, Pricewise has opposed Sanctuaire as his each-way steal and instead opted for the progressive William’s Wishes, with Ladbrokes still offering the top price on him winning the Champion Chase at 20/1.
It will take a major hike in class for William’s Wishes to threaten in the Queen Mother, but he has done everything asked of him over fences so far, winning all five starts.
These have only been in handicap company, but he was mightily impressive last time at Sandown when overcoming a stumble two fences from home.
He would need to improve at least another 15lb to be considered a worthy threat, but this is not out of the question and the good thing is that William’s Wishes is versatile in regards to the ground, although he would prefer some cut.
Trainer Evan Williams has remained coy by stating that he believes the horse is not of Grade One standard, but another positive run next in either Ascot’s Victor Chandler Chase or the Dan Moore Memorial Chase at Fairyhouse will see his Cheltenham price shorten.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.