Ahead of the eagerly anticipated Tingle Creek Chase, Cheltmental gives his verdict on the day’s action at Sandown with a view to tackling the Boosted £10,000 Place 6. He reckons that Politologue is one to watch in the big race of the day. If you agree with his selections, join his Syndicate.
12:15 – NOVICES’ HURDLE – 2M
A neat looking Novices’ Hurdle as the build up to the Tingle Creek Chase begins. One entry I’m very pleased to see on the list is TIMBERMAN who was a very good second to SON OF CAMAS at Newbury who has come out and won since in another decent race. With Nico at Aintree Brian Hughes picks up the ride. Nicky Henderson also saddles DAPHNE DU CLOS who is a second season novice in here and had big expectations last season in this sphere. She’s clearly had issues but she could still be a nice prospect.
Gary Moore also runs two with a pair of ex pointers. Jamie is on NEEDHAMS GAP so that suggest he’s the more fancied of the duo but does have an almost 600 day absence to overcome. The horse he beat in his point is now a 124 rated hurdle who has been doing better over further.
FIDDLERONTHEROOF has bumped into two smart types in his last two outings but he should be good enough to be the one they all have to beat and you can expect another bold show from him.
Selections – TIMBERMAN, FIDDLERONTHEROOF, DAPHNE DU CLOS
12:50 – MARES’ HANDICAP HURDLE – 2M 4F
This won’t be the most exciting race of the day but there was plenty to like about the way CROSSGALESFAMEGAME won the last day so another bold bid can be expected if that wasn’t just a one off because of the heavy ground.
AIMEE DE SIVOLA was second best in a similar conditions race at Wincanton last month but is up 5lbs for that. She could have more to offer though so is on the shortlist. DEPUTY’S OSCAR was also in that race but has her mark unchanged but was twice impressive against her own sex before so could still have more to offer.
HENRIETTA BELL & OUR DOT’S BABY come here fresh from wind ops and either could have a chance if that was what was holding them back.
Selections – CROSSGALESFAMEGAME, AIMEE DE SIVOLA, DEPUTY’S OSCAR
13:20 – PERTEMPS HANDICAP HURDLE – 2M 7 ½ F
This Qualifier race can be a minefield for picking a winner as plenty just want to finish in the top 6. Despite that I think LORD OF THE ISLAND for Fergal O’Brien would likely to be trying here as he’s 11 rising 12 now. He won after a break and has won at this course before so while the ground might have come a bit quick for him he ticks enough boxes.
DREAM BERRY for JP, Jonjo and Geraghty hasn’t been seen for over a year but was fancied on that last start. He’s potentially better than his mark but it’s a guessing game if he retains that ability and if so, whether today is the day he shows it.
GO WHATEVER could be better than his opening mark if the penny has finally dropped and BOYHOOD is interesting as he reverts back to the smaller obstacles but does have top weight to shoulder.
Selections – LORD OF THE ISLAND, DREAM BERRY, GO WHATEVER, BOYHOOD
13:50 – HENRY VIII NOVICES’ CHASE – 1M 7 ½ F
This looks a very interesting renewal but I’d expect the winner to come from the front of the market. Both TOPRILLO & NUBE NEGRA have impressed over fences and the former gets a healthy 6lb weight for age allowance and has strong form round this course. The latter is a flat bred but has been jumping for fun so should enjoy it here.
SUMMERVILLE BOY took the 2018 Tolworth Hurdle round here before going on to land the Supreme at Cheltenham. He looed backed to his old self on his Chase debut early November and that form has worked out OK since. His jumping will need to improve, but he’s entitled to do just that and he must have a chance. GRAND SANCY is making his chasing debut in this race which puts me right off him, but he’s classy enough to be involved. ESPIRIT DU LARGE is almost forced into this company after a decent win the last day but he might just be outclassed here.
Selections – TORPILLO, SUMMERVILLE BOY
14:25 – HANDICAP HURDLE (LISTED) – 2M
The penultimate race before the Tingle Creek Chase. MAN OF PLENTY took this race last year off the same mark but he’s raced 12 times since without any real showing. Either the plot job of the year or he’s just gone.
SONG FOR SOMEONE is a 147 rated 4yo so this would be a serious weight carrying performance but the three I’m drawn to in here are MALAYA, PROTEKTORAT & MACK THE MAN. All are well found in the market but each brings something different to the race.
MALAYA is a course and distance winner and while she’s not straightforward the form of that win here has been well advertised by MONSIEUR LECOQ since. She’s off just a 4lb higher mark now.
PROTEKTORAT was highly tried last season but showed some ability on his first start this season after a wind op while sporting a first time hood. He does need to learn to settle but this will be a quick pace to aim at so I like novices’ in these kinds of races who have shown those eager qualities.
MACK THE MAN is up 7lbs for his win last month at Warwick and looked a different horse from last season. He could be well in if he really has improved as much as it looks.
Selections – MALAYA, PROTEKTORAT, MACK THE MAN
15:00 – TINGLE CREEK CHASE – 1M 7 ½ F
This is a mouth-watering renewal of the Tingle Creek Chase and one that will be full of many different opinions. The way I see it is that the race could be run a number of times and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different result on each occasion. But as we’re only going to get to enjoy this spectacle once I’m going to attempt to predict how it will play out.
ORNUA will head off in front, no one has a choice in that matter, and really it’s only DEFI & WAITING PATIENTLY that might be happy to sit toward the back. UN DE SCEAUX & POLITOLOGUE are likely to be happy sitting off the pace and I feel both JANIKA & SCEAU ROYAL would be happy just off them. DOLOS could end up running anywhere but with ORNUA in here the pace will be plenty fast enough although he may be used to quicken things if something happens to him early.
Jumping at Sandown is really tested down the back where they have 7 to jump. The railway fences are exactly where the race will start to unfold. Paul Townend will want to have UN DE SCEAUX in front or at least pressing the leader as they round the bottom corner and this is where things will get interesting. There’s a break until they have to jump again, which is the pond fence but even after that there’s plenty of running left in the race.
I expect a few will start to feel the pinch and as they turn for home I’d expect DEFI to start making his move. Sandown’s stiff finish means that a lot can change in the latter stages and with two left to jump Barry will want to make sure DEFI is jumping the last with the leaders, who at this point I expect to be UN DE SCEAUZ & POLITOLOGUE. SCEAU ROYAL will hoping to be in the thick of it too.
As the Tingle Creek Chase reaches it’s climax after the last I can see both UDS and POLITOGUE digging in deep and it’s here that any mistakes by DEFI will mean he could just fail to peg them back. However, if he’s secured a safe round of these 13 fences he should fly by them and confirm himself as a serious 2m chaser.
Selections – POLITOLOGUE, UN DE SCEAUX