Sizing Europe can take the measure of Big Zeb

The test presented by the Queen Mother Champion Chase, two miles over fences, is arguably the most specialist of the week and, as such, tends to produce serial success. The field today includes one dual winner, Master Minded, and one going for the double, Big Zeb. Last year's winner is narrow favourite of the pair to retain his title and has the same lively conditions over the minimum trip that foiled his market rival.

The ground will also suit Big Zeb's Irish compatriot Sizing Europe (3.20). The nine-year-old has not won since beating Somersby in last year's Arkle Trophy, the rookies' version of the contest, but has been competing on underfoot conditions softer than ideal this season and looks primed for a rewarding return to his favourite stage.

The staying novices' championship, the RSA Chase, looks more straightforward; it sometimes pays to stick with the obvious, which is Time For Rupert (2.40), a high-class staying hurdler who has turned his hoof to the bigger obstacles with aplomb. Since beating all bar Big Buck's in last year's World Hurdle, he has won both his chases on today's course with efficient, classy displays of jumping and stamina.

So Young (2.05) comes to his assignment in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle unbeaten and unextended over obstacles and apparently has been even more impressive lately at home. In the juvenile handicap, given the amount of plotting that goes on to ensure a run off what is euphemistically known as a racing weight, Plan A would be an appropriate winner. But Paintball (4.40) can hit the mark.

Call The Police (4.00) may solve the mystery of the Coral Cup; in the amateurs' chase Chicago Grey (1.30) is suggested. The Irish won seven successive bumpers before the sequence was interrupted last year; normal service may be resumed today by Raise The Beat (5.15).

What's in a name

Habbie Simpson (Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle)

Town piper for the village of Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, during the 16th century.

Captain Cee Bee (Arkle Trophy)

Named after his trainer's grandfather, Captain Cyril B Harty, an international show jumper with the Irish Army team.

Orsippus (Coral Cup)

An ancient Greek runner, the first to run the foot race at the Olympic Games naked.

Lord Ragnar (Coral Cup)

First-century Viking hero, scourge of England and France. Put to death by being thrown into a pit of vipers.

Tips from the top: The Independent's writers predict the outcome of today's big race

Chris McGrath Racing Correspondent

1. Mad Max 33-1

2. Big Zeb 11-4

3. Master Minded 3-1

James Lawton Chief Sports Writer

1. Master Minded 3-1

2. Somersby 15-2

3. Captain Cee Bee 10-1

James Corrigan Sports Writer

1. Big Zeb 11-4

2. Sizing Europe 8-1

3. Master Minded 3-1

Sue Montgomery Racing Writer

1. Sizing Europe 8-1

2. Big Zeb 11-4

3. Golden Silver 12-1

Hyperion Tipster

1. Master Minded 3-1

2. Big Zeb 11-4

3. Sizing Europe 8-1

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game