2019 Tingle Creek Chase tips – King’s 13/2 chance can land Sandown feature on Saturday
Brian Healy takes a look at each of the runners who will go to post for Saturday's Grade One feature race at Sandown.
The feature race of Saturday’s card at Sandown is the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase, which goes to post at 3.00pm as the sixth of seven races on a quality racecard at the Esher track.
Boasting a first prize of almost £85,000 to the winner, this top-class two mile contest boasts a rich history of winners, many of whom have either been winners of or go on to compete in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Recent past winners of the Grade One contest include the likes of Altior, Politologue, Un De Sceaux, Sire de Grugy, Dodging Bullets, Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe and dual-winner Master Minded since the turn of the decade.
As many as eight contenders could go to post for the top-class two mile contest, and Brian Healy takes a runner-by-runner look at what looks set to be an exciting renewal of this Grade One prize.
Former champion Politologue (9/2, Paddy Power) could take his place in the line-up, and the Poliglote gelding could be one of two runners set to take their chance in the race for Paul Nicholls.
The 2017 winner is a classy performer at his best, and although he failed to win last term he ran several creditable races in defeat including behind Altior in the Champion Chase where he found only Nicky Henderson’s star too good before bumping into Min at Aintree next time.
Following wind surgery in the off-season, the eight-year old clashed with potential rival Defi Du Seuil in the recent Shloer Chase, beaten just over one length where he was giving the winner 3lbs although Philip Hobbs’ charge appeared to score a shade readily.
He is likely to come on for that outing, but two miles is perhaps sharp enough for him nowadays and others may just have too much raw speed for him at this trip.
Dolos (16/1, Coral) could also represent the Ditcheat handler, and the progressive Kapgarde gelding arrives here on the back of a highly promising reappearance at Exeter last month when finding only a similarly progressive rival in Janika too strong in the Haldon Gold Cup.
Paul Nicholls’ charge has a course and distance win to his name, having beaten Gino Trail here back in February, and he struck at Kempton over the summer before that Exeter reappearance.
Likely to strip fitter, he has a bit to find with Nicky Henderson’s charge who could reoppose here and who was giving 5lbs in that Exeter contest, so he looks up against it here with the balance of his form falling short of a few of his potential rivals.
Defi Du Seuil (13/8, Unibet) went from strength to strength last term over the larger obstacles despite an inauspicious start at Cheltenham in the November Novices’ Chase where he finished last of five runners behind Lalor.
Philip Hobbs’ charge won three of his next five starts, which included the Scilly Isles’ Novices’ Chase where he avenged an earlier defeat behind Lostintranslation in the Shloere Chase. He beat the same rival in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, although he was unable to best Chacun Pour Soi on his final outing at Punchestown.
A winner on his reappearance in the recent Shloer Chase, beating Politologue, he looks the one to beat here given he still likely has plenty of improvement to come over fences and another big effort looks likely from the Voix Du Nord gelding.
Like Politologue, Un De Sceaux (7/2, Unibet) is a past Tingle Creek champion, and while Willie Mullins’ charge is very much the elder statesman of the potential field at eleven years young, the Denham Red gelding can’t be underestimated if making the trip to the Esher track.
He has shown himself to be a hugely versatile performer over a range of trips and underfoot conditions, and the 2016 champion showed last term that despite advancing years he could still mix it with the best and he rounded off a light campaign with a defeat of Min at Punchestown to atone for a lesser effort in the Ryanair Chase previously.
He had found only Altior too good in this race twelve months ago, which is no disgrace, and he has a very good record when fresh. While his older legs might make him vulnerable to some progressive younger horses, the bold-jumping veteran could make them all go if turning out at his best.
Janika (8/1, Paddy Power) was a high-class exponent in France for Guy Cherel, but the Saddler Maker gelding failed to score last term although he posted a series of solid runs in defeat which include twice behind Siruh Du Lac in starts at Cheltenham, as well as over the Grand National obstacles when tried in the Topham Chase.
Nicky Henderson’s charge showed improvement to get off the mark at Exeter on his reappearance, beating Dolos to win the Haldon Gold Cup, and he could have more to offer over fences this term although demands more from him stepping into a Grade One from level weights against the likes of Un De Sceaux, Politologue and Defi Du Seuil who are all proven at this level.
However, he is open to further improvement and he could go well although the suspicion is that he may just find a couple too good.
SCEAU ROYAL (13/2, William Hill) represents the same owner as Janika, and Alan King’s Doctor Dino gelding also has some solid chase form to his name including twice behind Altior last term.
A winner of four of his five starts over fences as a novice, including the 2017 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase on this card, he won the Shloer Chase last term before disappointing in this race twelve months ago where he failed to beat a rival.
He subsequently suffered another reversal when denied back over hurdles behind Grand Sancy in the Kingwell Hurdle before returning to fences at Cheltenham where he posted a very creditable third in the Champion Chase.
He had travelled well into that contest, leading over the last fence; but he couldn’t quite sustain his effort where he was overhauled by both the winner and Politologue. He then found Altior too good again here in the Celebration Chase, unable to match the winner.
Alan King’s charge could prove dangerous if turning out here, and like Un De Sceaux has a good record when fresh so he looks to hold solid claims here.
Things went wrong for Waiting Patiently (9/1, Paddy Power) last term, and Ruth Jefferson’s charge will be bidding to repair some of his tarnished reputation if turning out here.
The Flemensfirth gelding was a top-class novice chaser, winning his first six starts over fences which included inflicting a defeat on Cue Card in the 2018 Ascot Chase where he cruised to an easy success despite idling on the run-in.
He was an early casualty on his next start in the 2018 King George VI Chase at Kempton, unluckily brought down by the fall of Bristol De Mai, and he might still have been feeling the effects of that fall when demolished by Cyrname on his next outing at Ascot when trying to defend his Ascot Chase crown.
It was a disappointing run, although the ground may just have been too quick for him; but he turned in another poor effort in first-time cheekpieces when brushed aside by Min in the Melling Chase at Aintree when last seen and he has a question to answer now as to whether he is as good as he was.
Completing the possible field, Irish raider Ornua (33/1, Bet365) showed good form over fences last term, winning a Grade Three contest at Roscommon prior to finding only Dynamite Dollars too strong in the Henry VIII Chase on this card twelve months ago.
Henry de Bromhead’s charge subsequently fell in the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival but quickly bounced back to make a Grade One breakthrough in the Maghull Novices’ Chase where he beat Us And Them.
The Mahler gelding paid the price for racing too freely in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown on his final outing of the campaign, but he was no match for Cilaos Emery on his reapperance in the recent Poplar Square Chase at Naas and while he should strip fitter for that return to action he looks up against it here.
Defi Du Seuil could prove a tough nut to crack and is likely to improve for his reappearance win in the Shloer Chase recently; while grand campaigner Un De Sceaux should run his usual gallant race if turning out.
However, SCEAU ROYAL (13/2, William Hill) mixed it at a good level last term, and Alan King’s charge could prove the answer on his reappearance where he boasts an excellent record first time up.
A course and distance winner, the Doctor Dino gelding won the 2018 Shloer Chase on his reappearance before disappointing in this race twelve months ago. However, he subsequently twice made Altior pull out plenty when contesting both the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, and the Celebration Chase over course and distance, and if able to run up to that level on his return then he looks to hold solid claims.
He has won first time up in each of his last three seasons, and it wouldn’t come as a huge shock to see this course and distance winner in the shake-up if taking his chance.
2019 TINGLE CREEK CHASE SELECTION – SCEAU ROYAL (13/2, William Hill)