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If the Paddypower.com Tingle Creek Chase does not quicken your blood, you should consult a physician. This great race is run by the speedsters of the chasing game and is always an exhilarating spectacle. Sandown’s famous railway fences are never easy obstacles, but at speed there is always an added frisson.
Reigning two-mile chaser Voy Por Ustedes is a red-hot favourite. He clearly loves Cheltenham, having won the Arkle in 2006 before graduating to the big one last year. However, having watched him at close quarters in this race last year, there is a suspicion that this may not be his track. True, he was beaten by none other than Kauto Star that day, but the manner of his defeat leaves a lingering doubt.
The ground is also an issue. Voy Por Ustedes copes with good to soft, but Saturday’s going is softer than that and he is best on a firm surface. The stamina sapping conditions may well play into the hands of Monet’s Garden who also gets a handy pull at the weights with Voy Por Ustedes compared to when they ran in the Arkle, when he was beaten just over a length when five pounds worse off.
The percentage bet is Ashley Brook each-way. He would have been no worse than third in last year’s Queen Mother when falling at the last. The conditions are also ideal with his form on good to soft or softer reading 1/2/3/2/1/2. The ground conditions will mean this is not run at its usual pell-mell pace, which will allow him to get his fragile jumping together.
It takes a quality horse to win the Paddypower.com Henry VIII Novices’ Chase. Moon Over Miami looked seriously good when winning a hot novice chase at Cheltenham last time out and can add to the 50 percent strike rate of favourites in this race. Earlier on the card, The Tother One stands out in the Paddypowercasino.com Handicap Hurdle. This half brother to smart chaser Thisthatandtother has a seven-pound penalty for a twelve length win at Newbury but that may not be enough to stop him following up.
1:30 Sandown: The Tother One (win)
2:05 Sandown: Moon Over Miami (win)
2:35 Sandown: Ashley Brook (each-way)