Stick with Somersby

  • By: Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: December 7 2013, 10:06 GMT

Ian Brindle's horse-by-horse guide to the Bet Victor Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park on Saturday.

Somersby: Can build upon Exeter victory
Somersby: Can build upon Exeter victory

Captain Conan

Brought in by the Henderson team in order to deputise for Sprinter Sacre though a four-time Grade 1 winner and has scored at Sandown on three occasions. Impressed over the trip in the Henry VIII Chase and while made to work hard to land the odds in the Scilly Isles Novices Chase, he'll have to be at match fitness to see off these rivals.

His Excellency

A Grade 2 winner over hurdles when trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott though bitterly disappointing on his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham. Small fields suit but his current odds look about right even with Tony McCoy booked for the ride.

Kauto Stone

Looked a smart prospect a year ago though now with questions to answer and trainer has reached for first time blinkers. Second in this race two seasons ago and while one couldn't completely rule him out of calculations, he is probably best watched at present.

Mad Moose

Has become very recalcitrant at the start and has ended up having what have effectively ended up as two schooling runs having lost many lengths. Hood replaces visor in an attempt to arrest those behaviours but he shouldn't be good enough even if getting away on terms.

Oiseau Du Nuit

Bids to become the oldest ever winner of this prize and while having something to find at the weights, he does have possibilities of running a big race. Won over this trip at Aintree in April and though he has well held in the Celebration Chase at April, he may have got a little closer had he not made a mistake at the last.

Sire De Grugy

Rated some way clear of the field on official ratings but was beaten in the Schloer Chase at short odds having dotted up a couple of weeks earlier at Chepstow. Historically has been at his best when raced around right handed tracks and connections will be keen to put down a marker at this grade.

Somersby

Had previously been regarded as something of an under achiever though justified strong market confidence to score in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and the form has been given a significant boost in the interim by Cue Card's success in the Betfair Chase. A previous Grade 1 winner having won the Clarence House Chase at Ascot a couple of seasons ago and has obliged over course and distance during his novice campaign.

Tataniano

Won a handicap off a mark of 160 with Paul Nicholls but has since lost his way and is now based with Richard Rowe. Has done the majority of his winning during the first half of the season but impossible to recommend on anything he's shown of late.

Viva Colonia

Likeable sort in handicaps and started life with Brian Ellison in fine style, seeing off recent Haydock Park winner, Sydney Paget by ten lengths on his fencing debut. Ran a cracker to be third in the Old Roan Chase but well beaten in a subsequent Ascot handicap and has plenty to do at these weights.

Verdict

Jamie Moore came in for criticism from certain quarters after the defeat of Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham and he will be keen to answer his doubters at the place where it matters. Connections have adopted a softly-softly approach with Captain Conan and though Nicky Henderson has touted him over further, he shouldn't be overlooked as he has been able to win first time out. SOMERSBY won plenty of fans with his win at Exeter and he can add to his fan club with victory here. A sound jumper, he appears to act on any surface and the combination of Mick Channon and Henrietta Knight appear to have unlocked some of the ability he invariably promised.


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