Sandown Tingle Creek Day Preview
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Sandown Tingle Creek Day Preview

It's a big afternoon in the jumps calendar on Saturday as we launch into the month of December proper with the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown Park the centrepiece. One of the key two-mile chases in Britain's jumps season, the Tingle Creek has been won by some stalwarts of the National Hunt sphere and is a proper test of fast, accurate jumping.They race at Sandown from 12.00pm-3.30pm on Saturday and the Racing Post previews all the action.


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12.00pm - Brian Giles Memorial 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle (2m)

A year ago this race saw the debut of Constitution Hill for Nicky Henderson, hard to fathom now that he went off second favourite that afternoon before blowing the opposition away.

While it would be ridiculous to suggest anything of that ilk might turn up now, Constitution Hill bearing all the hallmarks of being a generational talent, if there's anything lurking that might emulate him by winning this and returning next month to bag the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices' Hurdle, then Gary Moore's AUTHORISED SPEED is surely the one.

He left a deep impression in last month's winning hurdles bow at Lingfield (2m3½f, soft) having been a strong bumper horse last season. He had the Lingfield race in safe keeping a long way from home and two-miles on soft ground here should be ideal for him.

Given that Henderson used this as a platform for his aforementioned superstar last term, Seven Barrows newcomer Immortal is due plenty respect, while Godot was third in a 2m Lingfield maiden on debut 18 days ago and, with improvement, should hold place claims.

Selection: Authorised Speed

Next Best: Godot

 

12.35pm - Goffs Tingle Creek Sale Mares' Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)

After a winning hurdles bow at Warwick (2m5f, good to soft) in November last year, West Balboa finished second to Stage Star in the Grade 1 Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury in December and has been missing since.

She's got plenty of scope to improve in the months to come, though it's worth noting that plenty of Dan Skelton's runners have been improving for their comeback this season in a marked change from the norm for his yard.

Coquelicot has done well since upped in trip and scored over 2m7½f at Ascot a fortnight ago. Anthony Honeyball's mare is now 6lb higher and not certain to be suited coming back in trip, though this could of course be attritional around here so that stamina isn't sure to be wasted.

Mary Poppins finds winning elusive (1-15) though her stable bow for Donald McCain at Bangor in October saw her finish second. She's in the mixing pot after having a wind operation since.

WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI is another on the back of a wind op and Harry Fry's mare has been cut some slack by the handicapper down to a mark of 127. Her last win was a Listed Mares' race over C&D (heavy) in January 2021 and she faced plenty tough challenges last season. If the wind op has assisted her, she's potentially on a good mark and in-form Ben Bromley takes off a further 7lb in the saddle.

Selection: Whitehotchillifili

Next Best: West Balboa

FIFA World Cup Preview – Last 16, Saturday

FIFA World Cup Preview – Last 16, Saturday

1.10pm - Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (2m7½f)

BRIDGE NORTH was a useful novice last season for Henry Daly, especially when confronted with soft ground. His wins at Ludlow (2m5f) and Bangor (2m3½f) both came on soft ground and October's comeback at Aintree (2m4f, good to soft) was satisfactory after 198 days off.

It would be hard to argue that form has worked out particularly well, but Bridge North is entitled to be sharper now and has to be respected going up in trip with conditions in his favour.

Top-weight Calle Me Lord returned with a fine win last month at Kempton (2m5f) for NJ Henderson but struggled to get home over C&D in February on testing ground, while Dolphin Square had four wins last season (the final two over fences) but requires a career-best to defy this mark on return from 283 days out.

Sidi Ismael, meanwhile, won a 2m7f soft-ground Worcester handicap in October on return from an absence/wind op for David Pipe and has since run third in a competitive three-mile handicap at Cheltenham's November Meeting. Blinkers go on now and he's a player for the Pond House handler.

Selection: Bridge North

Next Best: Sidi Ismael

 

1.45pm - Close Brothers Henry VIII Novices' Chase (Grade 1, 1m7½f)

JONBON attacked his fences in the manner of a smart two-miler on chase debut at Warwick (soft) last month for Aidan Coleman and Nicky Henderson.

He had the useful Monmiral for company and the pair really flew into some of those jumping tests. It was a joy to watch. These Sandown fences are more of an examination, for sure, but the current Arkle favourite did everything right first time out and is impossible to oppose for now.

The speed at which he'll likely be cruising in front will pose a conundrum for Boothill, Harry Fry's charge having made an excellent start to this season with win at Newton Abbot (2m½f, good) and Ascot (2m1f, good).

He's won both those races within himself, but only after tracking what will likely feel like sedate pace in comparison to what Jonbon can do. Official ratings decree he's got 5lb to find on the favourite, in reality it could be more than that.

Unexpected Party hadn't the pace to go with strong stayer McFabulous at Exeter (2m3f, good) on chasing bow and will surely find things happening too fast now, while Honneur D'ajonc is the outsider of the party.

Selection: Jonbon

Next Best: Boothill

FIFA World Cup Preview – Last 16, Sunday

FIFA World Cup Preview – Last 16, Sunday

2.20pm - Betfair Daily Rewards Handicap Hurdle (2m)

A race that revolves around Cheltenham Festival-winning novice LOVE ENVOI. That success in March made it 5-5 over hurdles for the Wexford bumper winner and they included a Grade 2 here over 2m4f in February. She was denied a perfect season when second to Brandy Love in a Punchestown Grade 1 in April, though no shame is attached to that effort.

She can be keen at times early in her races, so starting back over this shorter trip is no bad thing and an opening mark of 139 is very fair. Underfoot conditions are ideal and Harry Fry's mare is the one to beat.

Homme Public was seemingly becoming frustrating last season before he won at Newcastle on final start in March and Oliver Greenall's charge doubled his money on seasonal bow at Wetherby (2m, good) in last month's comeback from 8lb higher. He's got another 7lb rise to contend with here.

Friend Or Foe showed decent form last season as a chaser and has heavy-ground C&D form in his back catalogue over timber. Paul Nicholls' inmate doesn't appear to be hiding anything from the assessor, though he is capable when fresh.

Nayati has made a fine start to the season with wins at Perth (2m, good) and Bangor (2m3½f, soft) in three starts for Donald McCain. He's on a career-high mark of 133 now, with Theo Gillard taking off 3lb, but could be the each-way option in current mood.

Selection: Love Envoi

Next Best: Nayati

 

2.55pm - Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1, 2m)

A stellar renewal of this famous race if all six stand their ground, though it must be stipulated that Nicky Henderson and Alan King are expected to walk the track on raceday to ascertain if the ground is suitably soft enough for Shishkin and Edwardstone. Plenty of the allure will go back home in the horsebox if either, or worse still both, of them are withdrawn.

Assuming they all run and assuming that Shishkin has put behind him the ailment that saw him pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March, he's the likeliest winner.

The version of him that chinned Energumene in a barnstorming Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January would be nigh-on unbeatable here. But did that race leave a mark on a horse that went to Cheltenham unbeaten over fences and turned in a listless effort? Only time will tell and at around even-money, maybe seeing is believing for now.

With a dozen wins, Paul Nicholls knows what this race demands and Britain' champion trainer is convinced that Greaneteen is a far better horse now than when he won this last year.

The market principles, Chacun Pour Soi and Nube Negra were bitter disappointments in that contest, of course, and Greaneteen was put in his place by Shiskin afterwards at Kempton and then by Chacun Pour Soi at the Dublin Racing Festival. He's 3-4 over C&D, beaten by stablemate Politologue in this in 2020 when the ground was soft. Ideally he may not want it too soft now, and of course if he's granted that, some of his main rivals will probably opt out.

Can one of last season's two leading novices' step up? Arkle winner Edwardstone was coming to the end of a long season when beaten by GENTLEMAN DE MEE at Aintree but, once more, the Irish raider may hold an advantage in that he has a run behind him.

He unseated Mark Walsh in tired fashion at the final obstacle in Naas last month but was also well held in his comeback last term. He could be much sharper now and, depending on the final make-up of this field, his front-running style could pay off in the hands of Aidan Coleman for the first time.

Selection: Gentleman De Mee

Next Best: Shiskin

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Tyson Fury v Derek Chisora III Preview

3.30pm - Winners Wear Cavani Menswear London National Handicap Chase (3m4½f)

An exacting stamina test to round things off via the London National. Revels Hill won't have any issues getting home based on his novice win at Taunton in March and last month's Ascot comeback over 2m5f (second) was a pleasing effort for Harry Fry's inmate. Nudged up 1lb, he's got a strong chance on paper.

Deise Aba was denied by a nose in this last year and is only 2lb higher now, though his hurdles comeback this season wasn't as promising as last time. Eclair De Guye was behind in third 12 months ago and is again aiming at this on his comeback. He's better off on these terms with his old rival.

The Venetia Williams team have found their form with a 23 per-cent strike-rate in the previous fortnight, as is their wont at this time of year. QUICK WAVE had just one start last season, winning easily at Ludlow (3m1½f, soft) in January having undergone wind surgery. That came after a decent layoff, so being fresh here is no worry and if the mare sees this trip out she is a massive contender.

Selection: Quick Wave

Next Best: Revels Hill

 

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