Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and pick out their 1-2-3.
"...he sets a clear standard on form and is the one to beat..."
Timeform on Altior
*Altior is a non-runner*
Betfair Tingle Creek Chase
14:25 Sandown, Saturday
Live on ITV4
1. Altior (NON-RUNNER)
Outstanding chaser who won his first 19 starts over jumps, including his first 14 over fences. Has compiled an excellent record over this course and distance, proving successful on all five occasions, including in this race in 2018. Experienced a truncated campaign last season, making it to the track only twice and suffering a first defeat when runner-up to Cyrname in the 1965 Chase at Ascot, but he sets a clear standard on form and is the one to beat.
2. Brewin'upastorm (Olly Murphy/ Aidan Coleman)
Developed into a smart chaser during his first campaign over fences last season, winning a maiden at Carlisle and defying a penalty in a novice at Taunton. Unseated when well fancied for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival and disappointed on his reappearance over two and a half miles at Carlisle last month, failing to impress with his jumping. Has plenty to find on form and this is a stiff task. Fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time.
3. Castlegrace Paddy (Pat Fahy/ Bryan Cooper)
Signed off last season by winning the Webster Cup Chase at Navan and produced a career-best effort when taking the notable scalp of A Plus Tard on his reappearance last month (also at Navan). Is effective on testing ground and is clearly in good heart, but he is a notch below the very best two-mile chasers and may find this too tough.
4. Greaneteen (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Took extremely well to chasing last season, winning handicaps at Ascot and Musselburgh before completing the hat-trick in a novice at Fakenham. Wasn't seen to best effect when only fourth in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival after meeting trouble on the turn for home, but he defied a 1 lb higher mark in the Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance at Exeter, scoring with more in hand than the winning margin of a neck would suggest. Improving chaser with more to offer who is well worth a crack at this level.
5. Politologue (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Skelton)
Top-class chaser who won this in 2017 and registered a third Grade 1 success over fences when landing the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March, dominating in a race that rather fell apart. Should give another good account.
6. Rouge Vif (Harry Whittington/ Gavin Sheehan)
Took well to chasing last season, notably landing the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick before signing off for the campaign with a third-place finish in the Arkle. Progressed again to win a two-mile handicap at Cheltenham on his return in October, bolting up by seven and a half lengths, though that wasn't a strong race for the track.
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Timeform's analyst verdict:
An outstanding renewal that can see the mighty Altior make it 16 wins from 17 starts over fences. He's 5-5 over C&D and should be raring to go after a recent racecourse gallop at Newbury. Paul Nicholls, seeking a stunning 11th win in the Tingle Creek, has a very strong hand with the improving Greaneteen and 2017 winner Politologue.