Tingle Creek Betting Tips: Altior v Politologue v Greaneteen at Sandown?
Altior will make his hotly-anticipated return at Sandown on Saturday, but will Nicky Henderson’s inmate creek on his seasonal reappearance or leave us tingling at the prospect of another Champion Chase crown?
The odd compilers fancy it’ll be the latter, with 4/5 on offer for him to sweep aside his rivals at the weekend and 6/1 about him recapturing his crown from long-term rival Politologue at Cheltenham.
His season won’t be defined by what happens in the Tingle Creek on Saturday, but it’ll provide a good indicator of where the two-time Champion Chase winner is, and just how good his rivals are.
Is Altior the horse he used to be?
It was a funny old season for Altior last time around. A prospective tilt at the King George didn’t quite work out after November’s loss to Cyrname in the Christy 1965 Chase, but he lost nothing in defeat that afternoon and was only ruled out of Kempton following a piece of work in early December.
After that, and following a routine victory against lesser rivals in the Game Spirit at Newbury in February, all roads led back to the Champion Chase at Cheltenham. That was until the Seven Barrows inmate was found to be lame on the Sunday before the race which led him to being scratched.
All of that means Altior hasn’t faced a top-class rival over 2m since the 2019 Champion Chase, when he found just that little bit extra to repel the advances of Politologue. In itself that’s no problem, because if he still retains the same quality, then it should shine through on the day. But what could be a problem is his age.
Altior missed more races than he ran in his last season, and while he may have all the heart in the world, that’ll only take him as far as legs can carry him. Only one 10-year-old has won the Tingle Creek since the race’s inception in 1979, and with six of his seven rivals having enjoyed a prep-run, the fav is making his first start in 302 days.
Ultimately, we don’t know whether he remains the force of old. But we’ll find out come 14:25 on Saturday.
Can Nicholls strike with Politologue or Greaneteen?
It’s fair to say Paul Nicholls know what it takes to win the Tingle Creek. The Ditcheat trainer struck six times in succession from 2005 to 2010 with the likes of Kauto Star and Master Minded and has won the race a record ten times in total, including with Politologue in 2017.
He re-opposes this afternoon following last season’s surprise win in the Champion Chase, and while the nine-year-old was deserving of that Festival success, it’s difficult to assess the level of the form. Altior and Chacun Pour Soi both failed to turn up and Defi Du Seuil was well below-par.
We have no doubt that he’ll be there or thereabouts at the finish, but it’s his stablemate Greaneteen who is of sounder interest after his taking win in the Haldon Gold Cup. The mount of Harry Cobden jumped like a dream at Exeter and has been the subject of plenty of support ever since.
He’s following the same route Politologue took en-route to success in 2017, which is interesting, and his profile as a progressive six-year-old with a run under his belt also makes him appealing. The forecast rain should suit him more than the other market principals as a two-time soft and heavy ground winner, and at the prices he should certainly be of interest with question marks over his two main rivals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing