The withdrawal of Finian’s Rainbow has only strengthened the claims of Sizing Europe winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Nicky Henderson has blamed some disappointed work at home as the reason for removing Finian’s Rainbow from the Sandown card and it will now be later in the season that one of the top novice chasers of the last campaign makes his seasonal reappearance.
This decision has trimmed the Tingle Creek field down to ten runners, with Sizing Europe the clear favourite at the head of the horse racing odds at 7/4.
His victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March is good enough form alone to warrant being favourite and he arguably remains the best 2m chaser in training.
For some reason connections seem determined to run the horse over an inadequate trip, despite his stamina being found out over 3m on more than one past occasion.
The latest failure over 3m was at Down Royal earlier in November and there are doubts in some camps that the effects of this race will not have cleared from Sizing Europe’s system ahead of Sandown.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead insists the horse is over his Irish excursions and should run well in the Tingle Creek.
Meanwhile, if the likes of Wishfull Thinking does go off quickly with the intention of making it a stamina test, Sizing Europe is a previous winner over 2m4f and should not be found wanting in the latter stages.
Some trends from previous runnings of the Tingle Creek also suggest that Sizing Europe will be tough to beat, with all of the last ten winners coming from the top three in the Sandown betting and nine of these winners having previously triumphed in Grade One company.