A Grade 1 over the two-mile distance, the Tingle Creek is an illustrious contest steeped in history. Won by the likes of Moscow Flyer, Kauto Star, Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy, it takes a special horse to win this contest.
Landing this race in 2018, Altior makes his return from an absence today. Unbeaten at the two-mile distance over fences, Nicky Henderson’s superstar has been a dominant force for a number of years. Had he not suffered a setback, he would likely have become just the second horse in history to win three Champion Chases.
The Tingle Creek field in 2020 is stacked full of quality, so this is far from a forgone conclusion. With Politologue and Rogue Vif among his opponents, is Henderson’s charge vulnerable?
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Tingle Creek Chase Runners and Racecard
1. Altior (Nico De Boinville, Nicky Henderson)
Remarkable performer who has won 15 of his 16 starts over fences for Nicky Henderson. That sole defeat came over 2m 5f and he’s unbeaten at the two-mile distance over the larger obstacles. Last seen back in February easily winning a Grade 2 and he goes well fresh. Won’t mind the forecast rain and is the one to beat.
2. Brewin’upastorm (Aidan Coleman, Olly Murphy)
Progressive hurdler who has been a shade disappointing over fences after a good start. Won his first two outings before an unseat in the Arkle at the Festival. Well-held on return but that was over 2m 4f, so dropping back in trip will help. Tongue-tie on and needs a clear career-best against these rivals.
3. Castlegrace Paddy (Bryan Cooper, Peter Fahy)
Took the scalp of A Plus Tard when winning a Navan Grade 2 on return last month. Plenty to like about that performance, but he’s fallen short on previous tries at Grade 1 company. The same is likely to be the case again.
4. Greaneteen (Harry Cobden, Paul Nicholls)
Has been progressive over fences, winning on three occasions last season. Looked better than ever on return when landing the Haldon Gold Cup in gutsy fashion. That isn’t the strongest form in the context of this race and further improvement is definitely required. Could feasibly do just that for a yard in remarkable form.
5. Politologue (Harry Skelton, Paul Nicholls)
Popular grey who enjoyed his day in the sun with a jumping masterclass in the Champion Chase back in March. He won the Tingle Creek back in 2017 and he’s likely to get things all his own way out in front. Will give a bold sight and is most likely to take advantage if Altior falters.
6. Rogue Vif (Gavin Sheehan, Harry Whittington)
Grade 2 winner at Warwick last season, third in the Arkle where things perhaps didn’t go his way. Blew away his rivals in a remarkable performance in a Cheltenham handicap on return and that form makes him very interesting. The worry is the rain, as too much would put pay to his chances.
Tingle Creek Chase Tips and Odds
He faces some smart rivals and it won’t be an Esher stroll, but ALTIOR is the class of the field and should pass this test with flying colours. He’s been dominant in this division for a number of years, as proven by a pair of Champion Chase successes. He gained the 2019 crown at the expense of Politologue and he was sent off at odds of 4/11 that day.
Absent since an easy Grade 2 victory at Newbury back in February after suffering a setback, he’s still the King of the two-mile chasing division. Without that defeat to Cyrname, Altior would likely be 1/3 for this contest, so his odds at present are more than appealing for a horse unbeaten over the two-mile distance.
Tingle Creek Chase Stats and Trends
- 5 of the last 5 winners were rated 161 or higher
- 5 of the last 5 winners were sent off favourite or second favourite
- 4 of the last 5 winners had run that season
- 3 of the last 5 winners were aged 8 or older
It takes a classy horse to win the Tingle Creek, with Brewin’upastorm, Castlegrace Paddy and Greaneteen all below the ratings threshold from the last five renewals. Going with the theme of smart winners, the victor tends to come from the first two in the market.
There has been just one horse to win the Tingle Creek fresh in the last five seasons, and that was Altior. Age is no barrier to winning the contest either, though the only horse to ever win the Tingle Creek as a ten-year-old was Moscow Flyer back in 2004.
Tingle Creek Chase Winners
Defi Du Seuil prevailed in an epic duel with Un De Sceaux to win this race twelve months ago, in stark contrast to Altior’s demolition of the same rival in 2018.
2017 went the way of Politologue, who will bid to recapture the contest three years later on Saturday. Un De Sceaux won in 2016 before going on to win the Ryanair at the Festival, while Sire De Grugy survived a steward’s enquiry to win the 2015 renewal.