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The Tingle Creek Festival at Sandown Racecourse kicks off on Friday with six cracking contests including the Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle.


As of Wednesday, the going was soft.


12:45 – 3m Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

Le Boizelo and Boughtbeforelunch finished 1st and 2nd in this race last year and are contenders again. Boughtbeforelunch is better off at the weights this time round and is selected to go well for the Paul Webber yard who have been threatening the winners’ enclosure in the last few weeks.


Diable De Sivola was running to a good level without winning this time last year and could be dangerously handicapped for the Gary Moore yard. He was tried over three and a half miles on his last start which seemed too far for him, the drop back in trip here should play to his strengths.


Igor is likely to be well fancied for the powerful Nicky Henderson yard. But the seven-year-old carries more weight than his seven rivals and fell two from home over course and distance last time out.


1:15 – 1m7½f Handicap Chase

Rough Night had a rough time at Aintree last time out where he made a catalogue of jumping errors and never looked like winning. However he showed a decent level of form last season and would have as good a chance as any if he is able to replicate the form of his Warwick win nearly a year ago. 


Dan Skelton continues to be a trainer in red hot form with 11 winners in the last 14 days. He saddles Falcon Sun here who may need to clean up his jumping to be winning a race like this. Dandolo Du Gite has one win from two starts over fences and looks a chaser going places.


1:50 – 2m4f Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase  

Funambule Sivola had four goes over hurdles last season and never threatened the winners’ enclosure but that all changed nine days ago when he easily won his chase debut. The five-year-old is up 7lbs in the handicap for that bloodless victory at Wetherby and he is fancied to win again.


Alnadam should also be a leading player having finished a good second on his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle for the Dan Skelton yard.


2:25 – 2m4f Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

The smallest field but the highest class race of the day, with four of the five runners winning last time out.


Star Gate stands out in the form book as he is unbeaten in two starts (one of which was a point to point race) but this is a big step up in grade and the stable form would be a concern – no wins from the last 38 runners from the Evan Williams team.


On the other hand, Paul Nicholls is operating at a 25% strike rate with 15 winners in the last two weeks and he sends Sending Love into battle here. Sending Love got his career right back on track with an easy nine length victory in a maiden hurdle last month, in a performance full of promise.


Any News is another in this field who won impressively last time out and is likely to be popular with punters as he goes for a third consecutive win.


3:00 – 2m7½f Handicap Hurdle

Kilconny Bridge is undoubtedly a mare in great form with four straight wins under her belt. Those wins have come in mares only races and the six-year-old now races against the boys for the first time in a competitive handicap. She may require a career best to win again, but is progressive and has strong claims here.


Storm Arising battled well to win at Lingfield last time and that form is working out well - the 3rd and 4th that day have since won. His jockey Harry Cobden has 10 wins in the last fortnight and trainer Paul Nicholls has 14, so there is a lot to like about Storm Arising.


Espion was unlucky not to win his last race when hampered late on and would have a good chance if staying this near three-mile trip. That is a rather big “if” though, as Espion has been tried over this sort of distance only once before in what was his worst ever showing.


3:35 – 2m4f Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Most of the nine strong field are stepping up in trip to two and a half miles so have stamina to prove. One contender that has performed over this trip and beyond is Misty Bloom who has a couple of wins over distances further than this. The eggs are in the stamina basket with this selection.


Father and son duo Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies team up with Bit On The Side who has a tendency to jump right which is hopefully not a major hinderance at the right handed Sandown track. This tough mare has had a busy summer with five starts since July so certainly should not lack for fitness.


Suggested Tote Placepot:

Race 1 (12:45) – 3 Diable De Sivola / 8 Boughtbeforelunch

Race 2 (1:15) – 2 Rough Night / 3 Dandolo Du Gite

Race 3 (1:50) – 10 Funambule Sivola

Race 4 (2:25) – 3 Sending Love

Race 5 (3:00) – 4 Storm Arising / 5 Kilconny Bridge

Race 6 (3:35) – 4 Bit On The Side / 6 Misty Bloom

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A quality day of jump racing to look forward to on Day 2 of the Betfair Tingle Creek Festival. The feature race is the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase over 2 miles at 2:25pm and sees the return of the 2018 winner, Altior. Racing gets underway at 12:05pm with a 2-mile Juvenile Hurdle.


The going, as of Thursday, was SOFT.


12:05pm – 2m Juvenile Hurdle

Nicky Henderson’s Paros won readily on his debut in France in May on soft ground and looks the one to beat. The Worthy Brat followed up his debut win at Exeter with a good third at the same course for Jeremy Scott. Gary Moore’s Hudson De Grugy is one to consider for the places after a decent summer Bumper campaign in France.


12:40pm – 2m Novices’ Hurdle

A small field goes to post for this Novices’ Hurdle, which should see the smart Grand Mogul win comfortably. Nicky Henderson’s runner won well on soft ground at Chepstow in October before following up with a decent effort in much better company at Cheltenham last month. The market should be a good indicator of the chances of the unraced pair Golden Boy Grey and Mickyh, while Pride Of Pemberley would need to improve greatly to have a say in the finish.


1:15pm – 2m Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

Chasamix led at the last before losing in the final strides to finish third at Cheltenham in November and should again be in the mix. Gary Moore’s Fifty Ball did just enough to win at Ascot last time and another fine run can be expected, while Fergal O’Brien’s 3 year old Naizagai comes here after a decent second at Ludlow and could be well in at the weights and is selected to beat his older rivals.


1:50pm – 2m Novices’ Chase

This hot looking Novices’ Chase sees several potential stars go to post. Dan Skelton’s Allmankind won impressively at Warwick last time out and should act on the soft ground. Eldorado Allen is unbeaten over fences for Colin Tizzard but was fortunate to win at Cheltenham when left clear 2 out. Harry Cobden rides Hitman for Paul Nicholls and should build on his easy win at Ffos Las last month.


2:25pm – 2m Betfair Tingle Creek Chase

2018 Tingle Creek winner Altior meets old rival and 2017 winner Politologue in what promises to be a fascinating renewal. If Altior retains his ability then he could be very hard to beat, while Politologue comfortably won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival on his final run of last season. It may be worth looking to the improving Greaneteen who takes his chance today for Paul Nicholls after winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last month. Harry Whittington’s Rouge Vif won impressively at Cheltenham in October but would prefer better ground.


3:00pm – 3m5f Handicap Chase

Cloudy Glen looks the one to beat for Venetia Williams after an impressive season debut comfortably winning a competitive handicap at Fontwell in November. Stuart Edmunds’ course winner Classic Ben comes here after a decent second at Exeter last time and could put up a good show, while Crosspark has gone close in both starts this season for Caroline Bailey and may find one or two too good today.


3:35pm – 2m Handicap Hurdle

Mister Coffey won over course and distance last time out for Nicky Henderson and despite a 10lb rise should be thereabouts today. Paul Nicholls’ Solo ran fourth in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on his season debut last month. The improving Benson is on a hat-trick after 2 wins in Novices’ Hurdles at Hereford and could be well treated in the weights for Dr Richard Newland.


Suggested Tote Placepot:

Race 1 (12:05) – 1 Paros

Race 2 (12:40) – 1 Grand Mogul

Race 3 (1:15) – 2 Chasamax / 8 Naizagal

Race 4 (1:50) – 4 Allmankind / 6 Hitman

Race 5 (2:25) – 4 Greaneteen / 5 Politologue

Race 6 (3:00) – 1 Cloudy Glen

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A cracking card, with two mouth-watering handicaps over the National fences plus a Grade 2 staying chase with a past Cheltenham Gold Cup winner taking on last season’s runner up.

The ground was forecast to be soft at the time of writing.   


11.45 Novices Hurdle 2m 209 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Dargiannini

2 – Mackenberg


Comment: Dargiannini looked a future star when thrashing his rivals by 20 lengths in a Sedgefield bumper last time. He looks an exciting recruit to hurdles and could take plenty of beating here. Mackenberg has some solid form and can fill the frame, especially if improving his jumping.

12.20 Handicap Chase 2m3f 200 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Quoi De Neuf

2 – Dashing Perk


Comment: Quoi De Neuf was a promising 2nd over this same course and distance last time on his chase debut and he should improve for that experience. He should go well here again. Dashing Perk is a bold jumping front runner who may take some catching.

12.55 Handicap Hurdle 2m4f

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Mint Condition

2 – Kateson


Comment: Mint Condition looks a progressive horse for the red-hot Jennie Candlish yard, that has had 8 winners in November and a 19% strike rate. He won cosily on his first 2 starts this season and can complete the hat trick here. Kateson looks interesting dropped back to a more suitable trip and she wears cheek pieces for the first time, which could bring improvement.


13.30 Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m1f 188 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Walk In The Mill

2 – Vieux Lion Rouge


Comment: Course specialist Walk In The Mill won this in 2018 and 2019 and can complete the hat trick, having been primed for this big day for some time. Vieux Lion Rouge also has lots of good form over the National fences and won this in 2016. He is now 11 years old but has fallen to a good handicap mark and is likely to be another who has been specifically targeted at this race. 


14.05 Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (Listed) 2m 209 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Megan

2 – Scholastic


Comment: Megan had smart flat form in Germany and translated that to hurdles as she created a big impression when winning on her UK debut last month. She should take plenty of beating here. Joseph O’Brien has a rare UK raider in Scholastic in she could be the main danger. 


14.40 Chase (Grade 2) 3m 210 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Santini

2 – Native River


Comment: Last season’s Gold Cup runner up, Santini, makes his seasonal reappearance here and should be too good for this field for trainer Nicky Henderson. Native River won the Gold Cup in 2018 and should go well, but he turns 11 years old next month so may not be quite the force of old.

15.15 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase 2m 5f 19 yards

Predicted 1-2:

1 – Springtown Lake

2 – Huntsman Son


Comment: Springtown Lake has won at Sandown and Warwick, both tough jumping tracks, and may be suited to the National fences here. He shaped well when 2nd on his reappearance and should go well. Huntsman Son won well on his last start at Wetherby and can also give a good account.  


Suggested Tote Placepot:

Race 1 – (1) Mackenberg / (4) Dargiannini

Race 2 – (4) Quoi De Neuf / (8) Dashing Perk

Race 3 – (6) Kateson / (9) Mint Condition

Race 4 – (7) Walk In The Mill / (12) Vieux Lion Rouge

Race 5 – (7) Megan / (9) Scholastic

Race 6 – (2) Native River / (3) Santini

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