The Tingle Creek Chase is the feature Grade 1 contest this weekend at Sandown and Douvan is a shade of odds on at 5/6 to get his career back on track, having fractured his pelvis when unplaced in the Champion Chase when last seen back in March. The noises coming out of the Willie Mullins yard are positive, although he has to prove he retains all his old ability back on the track following his injury.

Looking back to Sunday and Death Duty looked as if he would appreciate returning to a left-hand track when landing the Drinmore at Fairyhouse. The Gordon Elliot star was trimmed from 12s to 8/1 for both the JLT and the RSA Novice Chases’ at the Cheltenham Festival in March and, at this stage, I would favour the JLT option although that would mean taking on the brilliant Tizzard novice Finian’s Oscar.


In the Southwell opener, Irish Octave must go close to landing his fourth handicap chase on the spin despite only scoring by a head at Uttoxeter from a 6lbs lower mark last time out in October. This better ground should suit, but do watch out for a market mover for winning pointer Ronnie Lawson (12.20) who ran with credit at Chepstow over timber last time for Tim Vaughan. The selection is lightly-raced for one of his age and he might be able to serve it up to the likely favourite in receipt of 11lbs.

The Novices’ Limited Handicap is a cracker and there is certainly plenty of pace in the race with Eyeswideopen and Cracking Find (12.50) both confirmed front-runners and the vote for the latter is only marginal. The selection was taken out of a race last week because of the soft ground and he may have been a shade fortunate to score at Newcastle last time given Gris De Pron was still travelling strongly when coming down two out.

He is only 2lbs higher this afternoon, however, and the Sue Smith yard are, arguably, in better form now than when the selection scored at Gosforth Park.

The 3m Novices’ Hurdle is another good little race with Aloomomo very well handicapped for Warren Greatrex on his chase form. I was very impressed, however, with the Warwick win of Station Master (1.20) over 3m 2f at Warwick last month and he can follow up for the inform yard of Kim Bailey. The selection travelled very well last time and easily disposed of a mare (Just A Thought) who was backed as if defeat was out of the question.

Tom George has run some of his better novice hurdlers at Southwell over the last couple of years and I am going to take a chance on the point winner Copper West (2.20) making his British debut. The selection finished fourth in a Bumper at Killarney when last seen in May and cost his new connections £55,000 when bought at Doncaster later in the month.

Doctor Dex (3.20) may have bumped into one when runner up over C&D last month and is taken to go one better in the closing bumper for Tom George with Ciaran Gethings’ in the saddle. The market will tell us much about the chances of Weebill on debut for Olly Murphy with Jamie Codd a significant jockey booking.

Jamie Codd - Tingle


Ronnie Lawson

Cracking Find

Station Master

Copper West

Doctor Dex


At Lingfield, I hope to see Persian Snow (3.00) take the Veterans’ Chase for Philip Hobbs and David Maxwell who takes off a valuable 7lbs. The selection won a couple of Hunter Chases’ earlier in the year at Ludlow and I was hoping to see him in the Aintree Foxhunters in the spring but he missed the race. Conditions should be ideal today and he gets the vote from Allthegear No Idea who has been given a chance by the handicapper.

Lingfield - Tingle

Gary Moore’s yard have been a bit hit and miss this term but Knocknanuss would have gone very close at Plumpton yesterday but for failing to settle and Clayton (2.30) is taken to land the 2m Handicap Hurdle back on soft ground, having been dropped 5lbs by the handicapper in recent starts.


Persian Snow


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