Confirmed runners and riders for the Tingle Creek as Altior faces five rivals
Star two-mile chaser Altior faces five rivals, including Champion Chase winner Politologue and Greaneteen, on his first start since February in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
The ten-time top-level winner, trained by Nicky Henderson, missed out on defending his Champion Chase crown in March when found to have a dormant splint in the lead-up to the race.
He returns to action for the first time in 301 days this weekend, and was beaten by Cyrname in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot on his reappearance last term, but Henderson feels the ten-year-old is “miles straighter” this time around.
Henderson told a Great British Racing media conference earlier this week: "He's definitely a long, long way ahead of where he was going into Ascot last year because we've had a racecourse gallop at Newbury. He's miles straighter than at Ascot, there's no doubt about that."
Altior has a perfect 5-5 record at Sandown, winning the Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase in 2016, three runnings of the bet365 Celebration Chase and this race in 2018 when he defeated Un De Sceaux by four lengths.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue has his first start since success at the Cheltenham Festival and the forecast rain, with up to 15mm expected before Saturday, is in his favour. The going on the chase course remained good to soft, good in places on Thursday morning.
His stablemate Greaneteen, who landed the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last time, is one of two progressive six-year-olds in the line-up, with Arkle third Rouge Vif declared for Harry Whittington.
Brewin’upastorm and Castlegrace Paddy, the sole runner from Ireland for Pat Fahy, complete the field.
Hitman, Allmankind, Eldorado Allen and Ga Law are among six runners in the Planteur At Chapel Stud-sponsored Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, the other Grade 1 on the card.
The hat-trick-seeking Walk In The Mill, Kimberlite Candy, Le Breuil and Vieux Lion Rouge feature in the 15-runner field for the William Hill Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree.
Tingle Creek runners and riders
Altior Nico de Boinville
Brewin’upastorm Aidan Coleman
Castlegrace Paddy Bryan Cooper
Greaneteen Harry Cobden
Politologue Harry Skelton
Rouge Vif Gavin Sheehan
Betfair Tingle Creek – sponsors' betting 4-5 Altior, 7-2 Politologue, 5 Greaneteen, 8 Rouge Vif, 20 Brewin'upastorm, 33 Castlegrace Paddy.