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Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade One)
Tingle Creek Chase tips for December’s Grade 1 race. Always a treat to watch, the biggest trial for the Champion Chase has seen some exceptional fields line up over the years, with the possibility of another in 2017. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
The racing world are waiting to see if the clash that everyone dreams of will happen, could we see Altior take on Douvan at Sandown? The course could be in for their biggest ever crowd if it did happen with a sell out all but guaranteed. We start with the top novice from last season. A perfect 6/6 over fences, he was breath-taking when slamming Fox Norton in the Game Spirit Chase in February. The expectations for him in the Arkle as a result were unrealistic, a six length winner from the very smart Cloudy Dream would have been lauded for almost any other winner of the contest, but given his demolition at Newbury, the general expectation was ‘name your distance’ and that didn’t transpire. Back to his imperious best at Sandown to round out the season when beating Special Tiara senseless, he starts this campaign with he highest of expectations and the standard that all two mile chasers have to aim at.
Douvan met with defeat in the Champion Chase, never moving well following an early mistake when reaching for a fence, he was later found to have a stress fracture of his pelvis. Thankfully for racing in general it isn’t a career threatening injury, with the horse back in work at Closutton at time of writing. It is still not clear if he will take in this contest or if connections will seek to keep him at home to kick off this season, especially on a first run back from injury. While it would be the clash of the titans, it could be that we will be denied that dream, with Douvan not sent to Sandown last season either.
It was Un De Sceaux who represented Willie Mullins in this contest in 2016, taking home the prize but not without having to work hard to see off Sire De Grugy and God’s Own up the famous hill. Conditions were arguably a little quicker than he likes them, while having gone on to win the Ryanair over further at the Cheltenham Festival, the trip is on the short side for him as well these days. It would be no surprise if he was the one to come over however, giving the Mullins team a line to Altior without having to take the wraps off their chasing star. If the ground were to come up very soft however, he would be a strong each way contender.
In front of Un De Sceaux in the Champion Chase at Punchestown in April was Fox Norton, himself dropping back in trip having won over further at Aintree. The Colin Tizzard star may well be suited to another strongly run two miles on a stiff track, though there is the possibility that he will be stepped up in trip this season with the King George a possibility. He was unable to cope with Altior when they met at Newbury so there is little reason to think that he would be capable of giving the Nicky Henderson star too close of a race in this contest, but he is a solid yardstick at Grade 1 level having progressed through the handicap ranks.
Charbel could be the pace angle into the race, still tanking along ahead of Altior when coming down two fences from home in the Arkle. It’s hard to think that he would have held off the Henderson star given how he bounded up the hill, but there is every chance that he would have been the one to chase him home. He was runner-up to Altior over this course and distance in the Henry VIII and although he was disappointing at Aintree on his final run of last season, that is easy enough to excuse given his tumble at Cheltenham. If he were to get his own way on the front end, he has the ability and potential for progression to give them a scare once more.