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Speed freaks, your day has come. The William Hill Tingle Creek Trophy at Sandown is a clash between the Ferraris of the chasing ranks, reigning two-mile champion Azertyuiop and his predecessor Moscow Flyer.
To be frank there is nothing else in the field to trouble the two principals, which makes for limited interest as a betting contest. But for purists this is still a compelling race. The pace promises to be breathtaking and that, combined with Sandown's stiff fences, make an exhilarating cocktail.
Moscow Flyer won comfortably last term. Indeed, this horse has never lost a race when he has jumped all of the fences. However, one fears the old champ may have seen better days. There is no dishonour in that as he will be 10 years old come January. But Azertyuiop is no longer the young pretender, he is reigning monarch and is a confident selection to rule supreme on Saturday.
Azertyuiop may well complete a Sandown double for trainer Paul Nicholls. Earlier on the card he runs Le Seychellois in the Sodexho Prestige Henry VIII Novices' Chase. The form of this horse's win against well-regarded Val du Don at Warwick may well prove to be very good indeed.
If Le Seychellois wins this he will be a hot prospect for the Arkle at Cheltenham, following in the footsteps of another French-bred, Paul Nicholls-trained horse, Flagship Uberalles.
In Haydock's big race, the Tommy Whittle Chase, Sir Rembrandt looks good value to bounce back to form. He has disappointed in two starts this season, but this track poses a proper test for jumpers and will suit him well.
2:05 Sandown: Le Seychellois (win)
2:10 Haydock: Sir Rembrandt (win)
2:35 Sandown: Azertyuiop (win)
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