As the nights get colder and the days get shorter we can start rubbing our hands with glee as the picture of the various end of season showpieces become more clear, and Sandown’s Tingle Creek meeting is no different.
The ultra-competitive Tingle Creek Chase is the highlight, while the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase goes for quality over quantity, but there is plenty of value to be had at the Esher track.
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Here’s who we fancy…
A chance is taken on the outside of four in a very hot renewal of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, with any of the quartet potential winners.
Philip Hobbs’ charge was a tenacious winner at Cheltenham three weeks ago, coming home well ahead of Vibrato Valtat.
He has to contend with a slight swing in the weights, but the way he ran on strongly suggests, he could run up Sandown’s hill as impressively as he did at Prestbury Park.
He beat some very smart prospects on chasing debut in Far West and Puffin Billy, and with his handler certain he will stay further, his added stamina could come into play up the home straight.
In the absence of Sprinter Sacre Nicky Henderson turns to his (generally) reliable Oscar Whisky to claim Tingle Creek glory, a race Ladbrokes are offering ¼ odds on each-way bets placed.
Usually campaigned over slightly further, the nine-year-old will relish Sandown’s uphill finish.
Though don’t doubt that the former Aintree Hurdle winner will lack speed for the minimum trip, he has won five of his seven outings at 2m, the only defeats coming when fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and third in the Champion Hurdle.
His jumping can be sticky at times, though he was much better on reappearance at Cheltenham, and that will be tested at Sandown’s Railway fences, though his class alone could see him home.
Returning to defend his London National title off just a 3lb higher mark that 12 months ago, Paul Nicholls charge has an awesome chance of doubling up.
He was running a big race off this mark at Fontwell in May when unseating late on, and finished a close third on his reappearance.
The form of last year’s race looks strong, with recent Listed winner Court by Surprise back in second and four other subsequent victors even further back.
This year’s renewal doesn’t look quite as tough, so bank the nine-year-old adding to his tally at the Esher track.
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