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The Tingle Creek Chase is the first big two-mile event in the National Hunt horse racing season and is arguably the most prestigious steeplechase staged over the minimum distance away from the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Grade 1 showpiece has been won by some of the biggest names in the sport's history, including Desert Orchid, Moscow Flyer, Kauto Star and Sprinter Sacre.
Several stars have won the race more than once but, as things currently stand, Flagship Uberalles is the only three-time Tingle Creek Chase winner.
2021 Tingle Creek Chase Details
- Date: Saturday, December 4th.
- Course: Sandown
- Status: Grade 1
- Distance: 2m (1m 7.5 furlongs)
- Age: 4yo+
- Prize fund: £150,000 (£85,425 to the winner)
- Live on: ITV and RacingTV
2021 Tingle Creek Chase Key Trends
- 10/10 winners had won at least three races over fences
- 10/10 winners already had at least one graded race victory to their name
- 9/10 winners had an official rating of 160+
- 9/10 winners went to Sandown with a run under their belt that season
- 9/10 winners were in the top three in the betting
- 8/10 winners were trained in England
- 8/10 winners had run at least once at Sandown
- 8/10 winners had either won or been placed at Grade 1 level
- 7/10 were younger than nine years old
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Paul Nicholls has an outstanding record in this race, winning it 11 times in all. Nicholls dominated the Tingle Creek between 2005 and 2010, winning it six years in succession with superstars like Kauto Star and Master Minded, who both won the race twice.
Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead are the only Irish-based trainers to win the race since Moscow Flyer's brace of wins in 2003 and 2004.
Richard Dunwoody leads the way with five Tingle Creek Chase wins to his name but Jamie Moore is the only current rider to have won the race more than once.
Harry Skelton, who steered home Politologue in 2020, has the chance to join Moore when he partners Nube Negra for his brother, Dan.
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2021 Tingle Creek Chase Main Contenders
Chacun Pour Soi - All five of his Grade 1 chase victories have come in Ireland and not at his best when beaten at odds-on in last season’s Champion Chase at Cheltenham when finishing a length behind Nube Negra. Looked a completely different horse when trouncing rivals, including Nube Negra, at Punchestown the following month and would be very difficult to oppose if producing anything like that sort of form but has never been around Sandown and comes here without a run under his belt, both of which are negatives on the trends. Class act but not bombproof.
Nube Negra - Career best effort on the numbers when running away with Grade 2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last month and looks a major contender for the big two-mile chase prizes this term. Clearly not at his best when thrashed by Chacun Pour Soi at Punchestown but primed for a much bigger show here, in what is effectively a home game for him. Has form around Sandown having finished second in a Grade 1 novice event in 2019 and is match fit so hard to see anything other than a huge run.
Greaneteen - Beaten seven lengths by stablemate Politologue in this race last year but showed improved form towards the end of the season, not least when running away with the Grade 1 Celebration Chase over this course and distance. Trainer, who has a peerless record in this race, believes he’s capable of scaling even greater heights this year so it’s impossible to leave him out of calculations.
Hitman - 5-year-old’s don’t have a good record in this race but the ones that have won since the turn of the century have all been trained by Paul Nicholls. Career-best effort on the numbers when second in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Chase around here in December and although there is obvious potential for improvement this year, it is very much required if he is to feature.
Allaho - Arguably posted the performance of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival when running his rivals ragged in the Ryanair Chase but met his match in the shape of Chacun Pour Soi at Punchestown the following month. Hasn’t run over the minimum trip since his bumper days and comes here without a prep run (beaten first time out in last two seasons) so there are doubts about the suitability of this contest.
Captain Guinness - Only won two of his seven chase starts and form of Grade 3 win at Navan last month is nowhere near strong enough. However, represents a stable that is carrying all before them and connections have long felt that he won’ show his best until getting on some nice ground, which he looks like doing at Sandown. Needs to improve but can’t be totally discounted.
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2021 Tingle Creek Chase Betting
6/5 Chacun Pour Soi, 2 Nube Negra, 7/2 Greaneteen, 8 Allaho, 10 Captain Guinness, 12 Hitman, 25 Defi Du Seuil, 66 Cheddleton. (odds correct at time of writing)
2021 Tingle Creek Chase Verdict
An on-song Chacun Pour Soi will be tough to stop but he doesn’t exactly come without risks and the home challenge is strong.
Nube Negra looks nailed on to go well but Paul Nicholls has long felt that the 7-year-old Greaneteen would hit the top in the two-mile chasing division and the fact that his first Grade 1 victory came around Sandown just sways the vote in his favour, especially as he’s a bigger price than Nube Negra.
He was quite keen at Exeter on return but that run will have taken away the freshness and Nicholls is sure to have him spot on for this.
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Last Ten Tingle Creek Chase Winners
- 2020 Politologue 11/8F
- 2019 Defi Du Seuil 2/1F
- 2018 Altior 8/13F
- 2017 Politologue 7/2
- 2016 Un De Sceaux 5/4F
- 2015 Sire De Grugy 100/30
- 2014 Dodging Bullets 9/1
- 2013 Sire De Grugy 7/4J
- 2012 Sprinter Sacre 4/11F
- 2011 Sizing Europe 11/8F