God’s Own Looks Good For Tingle Creek
The build-up towards a pulsating Christmas schedule gathers momentum at Sandown on Saturday via the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase over 2m (3.00).
Quite often a race which has been won by a fancied runner at the right end of the market at 6/1 or shorter, one who fits that profile this time around is Alan King’s, Balder Success (11/4).
A Grade 1 novice winner at Aintree in April, this 6yo may have lost on his return in a Grade 2 at Exeter last month (2m1f, good to soft), but made a bad mistake which cost him, and he can expect to strip fitter for this assignment.
He will have to cross swords once more with his conqueror from Exeter, however, in God’s Own (4/1), who was a comfortable 5l winner on the day. Such a victory proved that Tom George’s 6yo Grade 1 win at Punchestown in May was no fluke, and he may have been a shorter price for Saturday had he been from a more fashionable yard.
God’s Own has also won 40% of his chases to date (2-5), which has been a key attribute for this race down the years.
Of the last 10 Tingle Creek winners…
10 returned 6/1 or shorter (33%) – others were 0-43
10 won during last three runs
10 won 31% or more of their career chases
9 made the top two last time
8 were 5-7yo’s (25%) – others were 2-41 (5%)
8 won a Grade 1 chase (2%) – others were 2-41 (5%)
7 were officially rated 167 or higher
7 were favourites/joint (7-12, 58%) – others were 3-61 (5%)
P Nicholls won it six times
The above trends also show that Paul Nicholls won this race an impressive six times during the last 10 years, and will have his supporters once more courtesy of the 6yo, Dodging Bullets (10/1).
A winner of his first three races over fences, including a Grade 2 at Kempton last Christmas (2m, soft), Dodging Bullets was subsequently beaten in his next four outings, including a couple of Grade 1’s, and is beginning to look exposed at the top level.
Nicky Henderson is another of the big guns out to bag Saturday’s big prize and sends his 9yo, Oscar Whisky (8/1), a Grade 1 winner at Sandown in February over 2m4f (heavy). He made a nice return when staying on into fourth in the Grade 3 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month (2m4f, soft), but whether this drop back to 2m will suit remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, the admirable 10yo, Somersby (8/1), won a Grade 2 on this card in 2009 and returned in good form when second in another Grade 2 at Ascot last month, but may be too old now. Nevertheless, he still represents solid each-way value.
There can be no getting away from the fact fancied runners emerged best in this contest, boding well for God’s Own, who has improved to win his last two chases and is surprisingly still available at 4/1.