Tingle Creek debrief

Tingle Creek debrief

Altior is all set for his much-awaited return, spearheading a ten-strong field for the Tingle Creek at Sandown this weekend.

Nicky Henderson's Champion Chaser skipped the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last month, and begins his quest to retain his Cheltenham Crown by running in the race he was ruled out for twelve months ago.

Unbeaten over hurdles and fences, he is a three-time Cheltenham Festival winner, and his nine rivals have their work cut out in Esher on Saturday afternoon.

Willie Mullins currently sends three over from Ireland to hunt the beast down, with formidable opponent Min trying to get past Altior for the first time in what will be his third attempt.

Un De Sceaux - who won the race back in 2016, could return on Saturday, for what will be his first start since winning the Punchestown Champion Chase (Min 4th), with Great Field completing the trio, in the colours of JP McManus.

Saint Calvados could be the one that provides the biggest threat to Altior's unbeaten record, having brushed Footpad aside in the Poplar Square Chase. He will look to provide Harry Whittingdon with his first success in the Sandown Grade One, whilst Alan King is represented with the eventual Shloer Chase winner Sceau Royal, also seeking the same feat.

Also in there pitching is God's Own, who was third to Altior here in the Celebration Chase on the last day of last season. Special Tiara - who won the Champion Chase the year that Douvan heavily disappointed (2017), flies the flag for the veterans, whilst Speredek looks to go one better than his Ascot second two weeks ago.

Gino Trail completes this top-quality field, for trainer Kerry Lee, ahead of the 38th running of the Tingle Creek chase.