This Tingle Creek Chase takes place this December at Sandown Park and is open to four-year-olds and above. The National Hunt Grade 1 Chase was first run in 1979 and is named after after 1970’s National Hunt racehorse Tingle Creek, who enjoyed a particularly good record at the racecourse.
The 2 mile and 13 fence renewal has been a Grade 1 race since 1994 and was won by Sire De Grugy last year and the eight-year-old is set to return to Sandown Park this season in a bid to retain the title he won last December. The Gary Moore trained gelding was the 7/4 joint-favorite with the bookies last year and unsurprisingly finds himself near the top of the market once again this year.
There are plenty of winning trends to consider before you place your bet on this year’s meeting, however, and we have selected the top five to help you eliminate the no hopers and, with a bit of luck, pick the winner.
5. Focus on Form
Out of the last 11 winners, 10 arrived at Sandown Park on the back of top-two finish in their previous race. Jockey Jamie Moore continued the trend last year when he guided Sire De Grugy to victory. The French-bred star arrived in the BetVictor sponsored chase on the back of a second-placed finish in Cheltenham’s Shloer Chase in November. And this continued another winning trend of recent winners racing in the previous month with 9 of the past 11 winners competing in a race in November prior to winning The Tingle Creek.
4. Get Behind Graded Winners
Last year was only the second time in the previous 11 years that the winner at Sandown Park has not had previous Grade 1 winning experience. Sire De Grugy handed Gary Moore his first Grade One victory when he defeated Somersby by four-lengths. And the eight-year-old enjoys a great record at Sandown Park, winning his last three races there and finishing third and second in the other two since 2010.
3. Chase & Distance Winners
Over the past 11 years, 10 of the winners went into the Tingle Creek Chase with at least three previous chase victories. Sire De Grugy continued the trend last year while Sprinter Sacre, who heads the market this year, is another who would fit that trend. The two previous champions are also two from eight of the last 11 winners who had also won at least three times over 2 miles, so it pays to do some research and see who would fit the criteria this year.
2. Geraghty A Good Bet
Jockey Barry Geraghty has a solid record in the Tingle Creek Chase, winning three times since 2003. The 35-year-old guided Moscow Flyer to successive victories in 2003 and 2004 and he landed his third victory in 2012 with the magnificent Sprinter Sacre. Last year, meanwhile, the Irish jockey was in the saddle as 7/4 joint-favourite Captain Conan finished third for trainer Nicky Henderson. He was also a runner-up in 2010 with another Henderson trained gelding, Petit Robin.
1. Powerful Paul Nicholls
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a superb record in the Tingle Creek Chase, winning the 2 mile National Hunt Chase an incredible six-years in a row between 2005 and 2010. Ruby Walsh also provided the trainer with the winner in 2002, as he guided eight-year-old Cenkos to victory. The jockey was in the saddle for Kauto Star’s second win in 2006 and for Twist Magic’s 2009 victory. And Walsh led Kauto Star to a second-placed finish in 2012 while the trainer and jockey combined again one-year-later with Walsh riding Sanctuaire to a third-placed finish.