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Tingle Creek Chase preview

The Tingle Creek is one of the top echelon of steeplechases, particularly for those with more class than stamina. It has been a Grade 1 race since 1994 and you won't find any fluke winners here - Flagship Uberalles (three times), Moscow Flyer (twice), Kauto Star (twice), Master Minded (twice), Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy - what an honour roll!

Taking the reins for the preview is the talented Harriet Fuller. You can read more of her work on her blog and follow her on Twitter @HattieLFuller

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888Sport Tingle Creek Chase
Grade 1, Sandown, 2m
Saturday 3pm GMT


The Tingle Creek Chase may be without either of its stars in Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, but it has left an extremely open and intriguing race. I could give a few of them a good chance of being there or thereabouts at the end, and in a declared field of ten, that isn’t rather helpful. I do believe there is value in this race, whether for win purposes or an each-way punt.

Balder Succes is for me, a surprise leader of the market, mainly due to the fact that God’s Own, mentioned next, has beaten him on his last two outings. Yes, he had got the better of him back in February, but it really does make me question the market when I would rate God’s Own a much better chance. The former will no doubt run a big race, although I think he will find one or two too good for him, and at 5/2 I will be leaving him on the shelf.

God’s Own currently sits second in the market at around 4/1, this is, quite frankly, due to his form. He made a successful reappearance at Exeter in the Haldon Gold Cup, beating Balder Succes who he will once again come up against here. There is a lot to like about this six-year-old, he’s always run well against top company and a big run will be expected here once again. However, as I said at the start I believe there is better value in the race.

Oscar Whisky is an interesting runner, and unfortunately there are a few reasons why I won't be backing him. Henderson’s yard isn’t firing on all cylinders at all at the moment, and it does put me off slightly, but more so is the drop back in trip. Most of his winning has come over 2m3f+ and on softer ground. He’s back down to two miles now, and even with the help of Barry Geraghty on board, I can see the race happening too quickly for him. The ground won’t be a mud-bath either so it won’t turn into a test of stamina. If you think he will handle the drop back in trip then 15/2 is a nice price, but I can’t see it myself and I will be avoiding him.

Somersby is the real value in this race. The 10-year-old may be getting on a bit, but he came back to form with a good second behind Al Ferof in the Amlin Chase at Ascot. We know he likes Ascot, but it seems he also quite likes Sandown. His three runs here have yielded a win and two seconds, beaten by the likes of Sire De Grugy in this race last year and Sanctuaire. Channon has secured the services of Champion Jockey McCoy, which is a huge bonus. He’s only ridden this horse three times before in his 32 starts. This year the field doesn’t have a stand-out contender and I think Somersby could take advantage of this, and at 8/1 he would line your pockets nicely too.

Somersby is my win bet at Sandown, but for an each-way bet, it is best to look further down the field. Dodging Bullets I feel just isn’t quite up to the task here, clearly talented but he will find others too good, while Vuvokar is an intriguing runner in the race having finished 7th in the JLT at the Festival after only two runs over here in England. For me, this is a step too far for him but this could be a stepping-stone for him to go on to better things later in his career.

It is William’s Wishes who catches my eye for the each-way punt. Available to back at around 16/1 this clearly talented horse has had a stop start career due to injuries. In January 2013, time was called on his season having been unbeaten in five starts over fences. He came back in November last year with a disappointing run in the Haldon Cup behind Somersby, and wasn’t seen again till late November this year when finishing 12 lengths behind The New One at Haydock. He is clearly a fragile horse, who possibly hasn’t got over his injury, but the run over hurdles will have primed him for a tilt at the Tingle Creek and if reproducing his previous chase form, he could well outrun his price here.

Win selection – Somersby
Each-way selection – William’s Wishes

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