Racing News Blog
With Altior out probably until the festival with a wind op and Willie Mullins removing Douvan from the line up the Tingle creek now becomes a weaker race. It is a shame because this is normally a great Grade 1 chase and one the hardcore National Hunt enthusiasts look forward to.
As I write only four runners have been declared so we will run through them starting with the favourite Fox Norton. He won on seasonal first at the home of jumps racing that is Cheltenham romping home very easily up the hill to pick up his 8th win from 15 over fences in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase. Bryan Cooper was on board that day but is currently injured. Robbie Power knows this animal well and he takes over the ride again. This is his first time around Sandown and I can’t see past this favourite. He is a class act and likely to be very strong in the market. I would expect Robbie to drop him in touch of the front runners and pick them off late on.
Paul Nicholls has won this race a record nine times and brings two runners to the party Politologue is the one of the two declared and is a progessive type. Sam Twiston – Davis is injured so young progressive jockey Harry Cobden takes over the saddle. His race last time out at Exeter was very good in the Haldon Gold cup beating stable mate San Benedeto. So he comes here in fine form and will love the trip and ground and really is the closest danger to Fox Norton. He is likely to run in touch of the pace and if any runner turns the favourite over he is the obvious one to do it.
Ar Mad could possibly make the running in the early stages although if Charbel runs they could battle it out in front. Ar Mad was disappointing on seasonal first running in the same race as the Nicholls two. Gino Trail led that day and Ar Mad dropped off the pace and was pulled up. He is a dual C&D winner with two wins from three runs here.
Sir Valentino is the fourth runner declared who was also pulled up in the Haldon Gold cup. He bounced back to win at Ascot last month over a similar trip but this field should be too testing for him although some would argue the case being the second best horse on official ratings.
In summary Politologue has the potential to trade lower but I would look for a value position on Fox Norton or just sit back and enjoy a quality animal who’s likely route next up is the King George on Boxing day.