Racing returns to Sandown Park tomorrow – with the two-day Tingle Creek Meeting, with a Grade two and two Grade ones.
Friday sees seven horses declared for the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle, with Cheltenham trainer Kim Bailey holding leading claims on the form of Happygolucky – who finished third to the smart Thyme Hill at Cheltenham last time.
Colin Tizzard’s Ofalltheginjoints made a fine switch from Point-To-Point when winning at Chepstow in October. He only just lost out at Kempton and can return to winning ways.
Olly Murphy’s overthetop is unbeaten and holds plenty of promise on 12-length success over hurdles.
Paul Nicholls, Richard Rowe, Dan Skelton and Paul Webber are the others with entries.
Saturday’s first Grade 1, Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, looks a really competitive race – with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Torpillo the current 15/8F.
The four-year-old impressed on seasonal debut over hurdles, before being beaten a length-and-a-quarter by Quel Destin at Cheltenham next time out.
Switched to the larger obstacles for his latest win at Warwick, he won going away, and is the one to beat on that form.
Skelton’s Nube Negra has made an impressive start to his chasing career, winning both by a combined 13 lengths.
This, however, requires more – especially conceding 5lb weight-for-age.
Gloucestershire-based trainer, Tom George, saddles Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Summerville Boy – who made a pleasing start to his chasing career at Uttoxeter.
Among the others in the field-of-eight, Skelton also saddles Beakstown and Maire Banrigh – with the latter beating Thomas Darby.
Nicholls has a live chance with Grand Sancy now switched to chasing, Evan Williams sends the improving Esprit Du Large and Ruth Jefferson’s chance comes in the form of Return Ticket.
Eight are declared for the feature race, The Betfair Tingle Creek Chase, including Philip Hobbs’ Defi Du Seuil – who is currently the 6/4F.
The JP McManus-owned six-year-old impressed when winning the Grade 2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, on seasonal debut, with previous race winner Politologue in behind.
The much-loved Un De Sceaux looked like he’s enjoying his racing as much as ever when winning at Punchestown in April, and finished second to the mighty Altior in this last year.
Simon Munir and Isaac Souede mount a double-pronged attack with Sceau Royal and Janika, while Jefferson, Nicholls and Henry De Bromhead complete the field with Waiting Patiently, Dolos and Ornua respectively.
Whatever the results, racing fans are in for a feast of racing over the next couple of days!