Big Zeb and Master Minded Head Champion Chase Eleven.

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Tagged under: 3.20 Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase 2m

Eleven horses have been declared for the 2011 sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase, and as far as the betting is concerned on the two-mile speed test, it is likely to be dominated by the two horses who have, between them, won the last three runnings of the championship contest.

The Paul Nicholls trained Master Minded, successful in 2008 and 2009, will attempt to regain the crown from last year's victor Big Zeb, in an effort to join Badsworth Boy as only the second triple winner of the race since it's inception in 1959.

Only fourth in last year's contest, Master Minded looked a shadow of the horse who had demolished the opposition in the two previous runnings, but this season has seen the 8 year-old return to something like his best form.

Bookmakers are finding it difficult to split the two in the betting, with Coral offering the best price available about both runners at odds of 3/1, while they are shortest about third favourite Woolcombe Folly at 6/1, although Paul Nicholls second-string can be backed at 8/1 with Bet365, Victor Chandler, and Stan James.

The first two home in last years Irish Independent Arkle Chase, Sizing Europe and Somersby, will probably renew rivalry, although the latter could yet be re-routed to the five furlong longer Ryanair Chase, if conditions are too quick on Wednesday.

As well as Big Zeb, a formidable Irish challenge includes Captain Cee Bee and Golden Silver, both of whom would have decent chances on their very best form, and priced around the 10/1 mark.

Nicky Henderson could run both French Opera and Mad Max, although both have more realistic handicap entries, and the line-up is completed by I'm So Lucky and Cornas, both on offer at 100/1 and surely out of their depth in this exalted company.

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