My love of the Tingle Creek meeting will be well known to any regular reader. I have said it before and I will say it again I love this day, proper racing with proper race fans, it really is one of my favourite meetings of the year. I will be down in Esher with the usual suspects making their way from form the far-flung corners of London; Mr Wilson, Mr Griffiths and Mr O’Leary as usual and all being well Big John and Diplomatic Dave are also meeting us trackside so it should be a good booze-up if nothing else!
The going on the Chase course is Good-Soft, Good in places and on the Hurdle track Soft so hopefully no last-minute non-runners because of the going.
Best bets for the horse racing at Sandown Park, the Tingle Creek meeting
We get underway at Sandown at midday with the two-mile Brian Giles Memorial 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle; won so very impressively last year by Constitution Hill. Authorised Speed is all the rage this year off his recent win at Lingfield and some good efforts in top Bumpers last season. the five-year-old is unbackable though at 2-5 overnight! Nicky Henderson has a great record in this so his Immortal has to be worth a look on debut if only because of connections.
At 12.35 they face 2m4f for the Goffs Tingle Creek Sale Mares' Handicap Hurdle. West Balboa was an impressive winner on her UK debut at Warwick in November last year and was then pitched straight into G.1 Grade 1 company in the Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury where she was second to Stage Star. Not seen since but that is by far the best form in the book and a mark of 127 might prove very lenient indeed. I am on at 11-8 overnight with Hills.
The 2m7½f Challow Novices' Hurdle looks a tricky heat with a few in with chances. Good old Call Me Lord won’t be far away; Bridge North has to be considered and Sirobbie off bottom-weight might put in a big run. All that said, I thought Halo des Obeaux looked like a test would really suit when winning in pretty tough conditions over two-and-a-half here last time and will surely relish this longer trip. Freddie Gingell rides again taking off the 7lb and I think the Paul Nicholls trained five-year-old is the one to be on at the and I have 4-1 overnight with Power.
The first of the two Grade Ones is at 1.45 in the shape of the two-mile Close Brothers Henry VIII Novices' Chase. Sadly, this year's renewal has just the four-runners and Jonbon looks a nailed on certainty and is priced accordingly at 1-3!
We are back to the hurdles at 2.20 for the two-mile Betfair Daily Rewards Handicap Hurdle. Winner of the G.2 Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham last year Love Envoi makes her seasonal reappearance. She won five of her six starts last season, including the G.2 Jane Seymour Mares' Novices' Hurdle here; her only defeat was when second in the G.1 Mares Hurdle at Fairyhouse. Not the easiest task against the boys in handicap company but I think she will get the job done and have a bit of the 15-8 with Power overnight.
The big one is due off at 2.55 the Grade One Two-Mile Tingle Creek. Shishkin was of course found to be suffering from a rare bone condition after the eight-year-old pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last March. He reportedly impressed onlookers, which included legendary 20-time champion Sir Anthony McCoy, when stretching his legs on Nicky Henderson's Seven Barrows gallops last Friday morning having also looked in fine fettle when exercising at Newbury last week. Anywhere near his best he wins, and it is then all systems go for retribution in the Queen Mother Champion Chase come March surely. I took the Evens with Coral on Thursday morning. Last year's surprise winner Greaneteen is back to defend his title. He also won the bet365 Celebration Chase here in April so clearly enjoys his trips to Esher but he just doesn’t grab me the way Shishkin does. Yes, he is match fit having won at Exeter but he isn’t quite top-drawer with me - Shishkin beat him ten-lengths in the G.2 Desert Orchid last year . The young pretender and Arkle winner at Cheltenham, Edwardstone is here, and it will be fascinating to see how he goes. He was the best of the Novices last year, but I am not convinced he is going to make waves with the big boys this season over two-miles; he has a stone to find with Shishkin on OR’s.
We finish with the marathon 3m5f Winners Wear Cavani Menswear London National Handicap Chase. I am on another one at a short price, it’s that sore of an afternoon, in the shape of Revels Hill. Came back from his summer break with a decent second at Ascot a couple of weeks ago over what was probably an inadequate 2m5f. That will have blown away the cobwebs and the Harry Fry trained seven-year-old can outstay this field; he looked to love every yard of the three-and-half miles at Taunton in March. I have the 7-4 with Coral overnight.Be lucky