Bullets guns down Cheltenham rivals


Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Dodging Bullets clinched glory in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham for trainer Paul Nicholls.

Winner of the Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Clarence House Chase at Ascot already this season, the seven-year-old was third in the betting at 9-2 for the two-mile championship behind former winners Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy.

Dodging Bullets travelled with zest throughout in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies and loomed up ominously running down the hill.

The front-running Special Tiara and big outsider Somersby made him work for it, but the Nicholls runner – who was bred by Frankie Dettori – found plenty after the final fence to clinch victory.

Somersby ran a tremendous race to fill the runner-up spot, beaten a length and a quarter.

Defending champion Sire De Grugy was under the pump a long way from home, while Sprinter Sacre, so brilliant in this race two years ago, did not jump well and appeared a shadow of his former self after stopping quickly from the home turn and being pulled up.

Twiston-Davies said: “What a horse, Harry Derham and the team have done a great job – Harry rides him all the time wouldn’t let Frankie Dettori ride him at home when he came down the other day, which says a lot.

“I need to get my breath back, I’m shaking a bit!

“I missed two out a bit, I was almost going too well.”

Nicholls said: “That was absolutely awesome. It’s good for the owners and good for the team.

“The progress he’s made has been absolutely phenomonal.

“He’s got better and better.”

Dettori said: “Sam gave him a fantastic ride. He jumped like a stag. He was meant to win a Derby but this is second best.

“My legs were shaking a little bit. What a horse.”

Nicholls went on: “He should have been favourite on form. I couldn’t see why the other two (Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy) were ahead of him in the market.

“Progressive horses usually come out on top. We know where we are going with him now. He’s such a special horse.”

Winning owner Martin Broughton said: “The anticipation is almost too much, and when you get to the race itself, you just want them to come back safe.

“All the way round I got more and more confident. It was all going exactly to plan. This is fantastic. I’m absolutely ecstatic.

“It’s all been Sprinter versus Sire. I’m happy under the radar.”

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search