Tingle Creek Chase Date is Saturday, 5 December 2021 (2:25)

Racecourse: Sandown Park


Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase


Distance: 1 Mile, 7 Furlongs And 119 Yards

2020 Winner: Politologue

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Page Contents

General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Stats & Trends

Past Winners

2020 Tingle Creek Chase Race Result

What Happened in 2020?

Politologue again profited from the absence of Altior to win the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase for the second time in his career, leading home a 1-2 for trainer Paul Nicholls. Success for the popular John Hales owned grey enhanced his handler’s magnificent record in the race to 11 victories. Politologue emulated illustrious stable companions Kauto Star, Twist Magic and Master Minded in becoming a dual winner of the Tingle Creek race. As at the Cheltenham Festival when landing the spoils in a depleted renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, he jumped well and made all the running for a second Sandown success three years after his first.

With Altior an overnight defection from the race despite figuring in final declarations owing to the soft ground, Politologue was sent off the 11/8 favourite. He never saw a rival. Brewin’upastorm, an 18/1 outsider from the Olly Murphy stable, didn’t jump with much fluency in the hands of Aidan Coleman and was struggling down Sandown’s back straight and its famous Railway Fences. Irish raider Castlegrace Paddy, a 10/1 shot from Pat Fahy’s yard, lost all chance by jumping out to its left. That only left two dangers to Politologue in the form of Haldon Gold Cup scorer Greaneteen and Cheltenham Showcase handicap winner Rouge Vif.

The latter didn’t find a softer surface to his liking, yet Harry Whittington’s charge was still backed into 3/1. Greaneteen, the 5/2 second-favourite made his challenge under Harry Cobden as the small field rounded the Pond Fence approaching the home turn, but Politologue shrugged off his attentions and stayed on best up the Sandown hill for a seven-length victory. Mistakes at two out by Rouge Vif and one at the last from Greaneteen just left Harry Skelton needing to ride him out to win. Bookmakers cut the price on Politologue making a successful defence of the Champion Chase into 9/1 come Cheltenham, but there may be more competition then.

What to Do Next?

2020 Tingle Creek Chase General Info

As one of the most important races, not only in its own right but also as a huge forerunner towards the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the Tingle Creek Chase remains crucial for punters as well as for owners, trainers and jockeys.

Run as usual over two miles with thirteen fences to be taken, Sandown Park’s Tingle Creek Chase 2019 will take place on Saturday December 5th and is worth a cool £150,000. The event is run as part of the Tingle Creek Festival with Sandown staging two days of top-class racing including the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and the Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle.

This race really does attract those who sit at the top table of National Hunt racing and as such, it has been won in the past by subsequent Cheltenham Festival winners Flagship Uberalles, Kauto Star and Altior among others.

2020 Tingle Creek Chase Runners & Favourites

The 14 early closing entries for the Tingle Creek Chase 2020 have been reduced to a field of eight at the penultimate declaration stage. Three of these are previous course and distance winners, and two landed the race before over the past three seasons. Leading jumps trainer Paul Nicholls has two likely runners this year. With that in mind, here are the entrants in the Tingle Creek race for 2020:

  1. Altior (Nicky Henderson)
  2. Brewin’upastorm (Olly Murphy)
  3. Castlegrace Paddy (Peter Fahy, IRE)
  4. Esprit Du Large (Evan Williams)
  5. First Flow (Kim Bailey)
  6. Greaneteen (Paul Nicholls)
  7. Politologue (Paul Nicholls)
  8. Rouge Vif (Harry Whittington)

Altior (10/1)

As the Sandown Tingle Creek winner of 2018 and an unbeaten five-time Grade 1 victor at the track, Altior commands the utmost respect. Despite being almost 11, Nicky Henderson’s formidable veteran still has an official rating of 172 – putting him 3lb and upwards clear of the field. Although no longer undefeated over obstacles following his legendary match with Cyrname over further at Ascot last November, Altior still looked as good as ever on his only other start of the campaign when winning the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury for the third time in his illustrious career in February.

Any horse with an extensive CV that includes four Cheltenham Festival victories commands respect. As he has aged, Altior has shown a tendency to jump out to his left. Sandown is a clockwise track, so that is the only weakness in his armour apart from father time. He heads the 2020 Tingle Creek Chase betting entirely on merit at ante post odds of 6/4. If turning up in his usual fine form, Altior will still take a bit of stopping. He sets a clear standard and showed he retains all his old ability when beating Sceau Royal – a multiple winner over hurdles since – when we last saw him.

Greaneteen (4/1)

One progressive horse in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase is Greaneteen. A winner of four of his five career starts over fences, the Paul Nicholls trained six-year-old won the Scottish Champion Chase after landing his debut in this sphere at Ascot. Greaneteen then completed his hat-trick at Fakenham and was a well-fancied 5/1 for the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival. He was an unlucky in-running fourth there when short of room jumping the second last. That cost Greaneteen vital ground and ended his challenge, but he was only beaten by 5½ lengths in a race where he conceded weight to the first three home who were all Irish raiders.

The Great Pretender gelding resumed winning ways on his reappearance, however, when getting up close home in the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. That was a career best effort and, although the gallant runner-up Moonlighter took every yard of the trip to pass, Greaneteen could still make further progress. Bookmakers are always war of unexposed horses, and this one fits that description nicely. The Tingle Creek race demands more against proven Grade 1 performers, but Graneteen may still have more to offer as his trainer bids to win it yet again. 

Politologue (5/1)

It is not unkind to make the observation that Poltiologue has been the beneficiary of Altior’s absence in big two-mile chases on more than one occasion. Those include success in the Sandown Tingle Creek of 2017. Also trained by Nicholls, who believes he has found the key to the John Hales owned grey, Politologue stays further than this. That means a strongly run race suits him. Nicholls thinks he goes best fresh, so – now that he is rising 10 – we may see less of him throughout the campaign. There is no getting away from the fact that his Queen Mother Champion Chase victory has an asterisk next to it.

That renewal of the Cheltenham Festival feature was more about the horses who were absent than actually raced. Politologue could only beat what turned up on the day, however, and did just that. There had been doubts as to his liking for the track beforehand. At Sandown, he has a 50 per cent strike rate. If the field for the Tingle Creek Chase 2020 holds up, then it is going to be tougher than the Champion Chase. We will see if Nicholls is right about Politologue, and it will also be interesting if similar tactics are adopted on him here as at Cheltenham. 

Rouge Vif (7/1)

As winner of both a Grade 2 novice hurdle and novice chase, connections of Rouge Vif are keen to test his credentials at the highest level again. Trained by Harry Whittington for Kate and Andrew Brooks, this six-year-old gelding seems to need good in the going description to be seen to best effect. After winning his chase bow at Market Rasen, Rouge Vif didn’t fire in the Arkle Trial and had a wind op. He shaped better at Kempton over last Christmas when runner-up in the Wayward Lad. Rouge Vif then resumed winning ways in the Kingmaker at Warwick with a seven-length success.

Although a well-beaten third in the Arkle, there were reasons to mark him up for that. Rouge Vif lost a shoe and encountered a less than ideal soft surface. Put The Kettle On has advertised the form by coming back to Cheltenham and winning the Shloer Chase. Rouge Vif has done likewise with a fine display in a handicap under a welter burden, but swerved a rematch with the Arkle winner at the November Meeting due to the ground. If conditions for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase come up good, then this horse merits consideration and could be a solid each-way bet.

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Tingle Creek Chase Stats & Trends

Ahead of the 2020 Tingle Creek Chase there are some important statistics to be aware of. Prevailing trends can be bucked of course, but they more often than not lead you to make better betting decisions when picking out a horse for this event. Learn all about the key Tingle Creek race stats here:

  • Most successful horse – Flagship Uberalles won the Sandown Tingle Creek three times (1999, 2000, 2001) and holds the record for most victories. A total of 10 horses have won the race more than once. Any horse with course and distance form should be respected, then.
  • Most successful jockey – Richard Dunwoody holds the record for most Tingle Creek race victories with five. Other legendary jockeys Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty had four winning rides apiece. Active riders to watch out for include Jamie Moore, Nico de Boinville, Harry Cobden, Richard Johnson and Sam Twiston-Davies who have all enjoyed at least one success.
  • Most successful trainerPaul Nicholls has a fabulous record in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase with an unparalleled 10 wins. The Ditcheat maestro has saddled seven different horses to land the spoils, including the great Kauto Star, Twist Magic and Master Minded twice each. No other trainer is anywhere near close to Nicholls, but other active handlers have won the race more than once. Jessica Harrington, Nicky Henderson, Philip Hobbs and Gary Moore have all had two successes, although the former and latter saddled the same horses to win on both occasions.
  • Most successful ownerClive Smith has a record four Tingle Creek race wins thanks to Kauto Star and Master Minded both winning it twice.
  • Age – There have only been six occasions in Sandown Tingle Creek history where the winner has been older than eight. Recent trends point to younger horses. Four of the last eight victors have been six-year-olds, so bear that in mind when choosing who you bet on.
  • Favourites – Market leaders have a fabulous recent record in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase and cannot be ignored. Seven of the last 10 favourites (or joint-favourites) have justified their status by winning the race. Only once in the last 12 years has the victor been returned at a bigger starting price than 7/2.
  • Ratings – It usually takes a top horse to win the Tingle Creek race with nine of the last 12 to be successful having an official mark of 166 or higher. Only three of the early closing entries meet that requirement, so it’s also worth remembering that three of the last six winners had ratings between 158 and 163. That brings a further four horses from initial Sandown Tingle Creek entries into the reckoning.

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2019 Tingle Creek Chase Race Result

What Happened in 2019?

Defi Du Seuil followed-up on his Shloer Chase success by landing the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase on his return to Sandown. Philip Hobbs’s JP McManus owned Voix Du Nord gelding had won at the track earlier in the year when he reversed previous form with Lostintranslation in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase en route to a second Cheltenham Festival victory. Defi Du Seuil was an easy to back favourite on track, drifting in the market from an opening show of 7/4 with racecourse bookmakers out to 2/1. He was produced by Barry Geraghty at the last where he jumped into lead, briefly outpacing beloved veteran and Irish raider Un De Sceaux.

Willie Mullins’s charge gave Defi Du Seuil a race up the Sandown hill and went down fighting by a neck at odds of 3/1. Waiting Patiently stayed on best of the rest for Ruth Jefferson’s Yorkshire stable under Brian Hughes, beaten a length in third. The front three were well clear of the remainder, with the gamble on Nicky Henderson’s Janika – one of two in the Sandown Tingle Creek for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede – not bearing any fruit. He was nine lengths off the winner in fourth at a 9/2 starting price. There was the same distance back to previous Tingle Creek race winner Politologue (5/1) in fifth, while the soft ground was against another Sandown specialist in Sceau Royal who was next home.

Past Tingle Creek Chase Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2019 Defi Du Seuil 6 Barry Geraghty Philip Hobbs 4th in Queen Mother Champion Chase
2018 Altior 8 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson 1st in Champion Chase
2017 Politologue 6 Harry Cobden Paul Nicholls 4th in Champion Chase
2016 Un De Sceaux 8 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins 1st in Ryanair Chase
2015 Sire De Grugy 9 Jamie Moore Gary Moore 8th in Champion Chase
2014 Dodging Bullets 6 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls 7th in Champion Chase
2013 Sire De Grugy 7 Jamie Moore Gary Moore 1st in Champion Chase
2012 Sprinter Sacre 6 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson 1st in Champion Chase
2011 Sizing Europe 9 Andrew Lynch Henry De Bromhead 2nd in Champion Chase
2010 Master Minded 7 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls 8th in Champion Chase