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Dublin: 12°C Monday 14 June 2021

Dodging Bullets wins the Queen Mother Champion Chase

The 9/2 shot stayed on best up the Cheltenham hill.

Dodging Bullets wins the Queen Mother.
Dodging Bullets wins the Queen Mother.
Image: Julian Herbert

DODGING BULLETS HAS won the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the feature race on day two of the Cheltenham festival.

The 9/2 shot, bred by flat jockey Frankie Dettori and trained by Paul Nichols, made a mistake at the second last but did well stay on the better than anyone up the famous Cheltenham hill and take the grade one event.

Favourites Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy never had a say in a race where Special Tiara (18/1) made all the running before finishing third behind Somersby (33/1).

Sadly for Sprinter Sacre, he was pulled up by Barry Geraghty before the end and we may have seen the last of the former winner.

Earlier today, anyone hoping Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins could add the Queen Mother to their three grade one successes on day one of this year’s festival had to look elsewhere as Champagne Fever was forced to withdraw.

The eight-year old, who won the Champion Bumper and Supreme Novices’ on his first two visits to Prestbury Park before finishing second in last year’s Arkle, was injured en route to the festival and connections have decided not to take the chance in today’s feature race.

It appears Champagne Fever was bitten on the lip by another of our horses on the way over to Cheltenham with Mullins saying today “The small injury he picked up in transit hasn’t fully resolved itself and I’ve decided not to risk him.”

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More to follow.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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