Timeform bring you a comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown...
"...remains open to further improvement over fences..."
Timeform on Defi du Seuil
1. Defi du Seuil (Philip Hobbs/Barry Geraghty)
Top-class chaser who enjoyed an excellent novice campaign over fences last season, notably winning Grade 1s in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase here and the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Showed a good turn of foot to beat Politologue on his reappearance at Cheltenham last month, doing well to come from behind in a slowly-run race, and that augurs well for his prospects in top-level two-mile contests this season. Remains open to further improvement over fences.
2. Dolos (Paul Nicholls/Harry Skelton)
Very smart chaser who won a handicap at Kempton in May and proved better than ever when finishing runner-up on his return in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last month. Tends to travel strongly and was an impressive winner over this course and distance last season, but has plenty to find on form.
3. Janika (Nicky Henderson/James Bowen)
Displayed smart form over fences in France and improved upon that after joining Nicky Henderson last season, competing with credit to hit the frame in top-end handicap chases, including the Plate at the Cheltenham Festival and the Topham at Aintree. Progressed again to win the Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance and has earned a shot at a Grade 1.
4. Ornua (Henry de Bromhead/Aidan Coleman)
Took well to chasing during a busy novice campaign last season, winning on three occasions, most notably in the Grade 1 Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree. Made a highly-satisfactory reappearance when finishing runner-up to a high-class prospect at Naas but will need to improve to trouble a few of these.
5. Politologue (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden)
Top-class, bold-jumping chaser who won this in 2017 and also landed the Melling Chase later that season. Was as good as ever last term, notably finishing runner-up to Altior in the Champion Chase, and posted an encouraging effort on his comeback behind Defi du Seuil at Cheltenham last month. Meets that rival on 3 lb better terms and looks sure to give a good account.
6. Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob)
Failed to fire in last season's Tingle Creek but finished the campaign in excellent heart, coming home third in the Champion Chase (jumped the last in front and traded odds-on in running) before running creditably over this course and distance when second in the Celebration Chase. Has a good record fresh and Daryl Jacob has picked him ahead of Janika.
7. Un de Sceaux (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend)
Ten-time Grade 1 winner over fences who won this race in 2016 and was beaten only by Altior last season. Is an 11-year-old but was as good as ever when winning a Grade 1 at Punchestown in April, beating a top-class rival in Min. Bold jumper who has finished outside the first two only once from 19 completed starts over fences. Looks sure to go well.
8. Waiting Patiently (Ruth Jefferson/Brian Hughes)
Was an impressive winner of the 2018 Ascot Chase but has been lightly raced since and failed to meet expectations on two completed starts last season. Still has time on his side but his best form has been achieved over further and will need to produce a career-best effort on his reappearance.
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An interesting renewal featuring two previous winners. However, the vote goes to one tackling this race for the first time, with DEFI DU SEUIL taken to confirm last month's Cheltenham superiority over Politologue. Paul Nicholls' charge should go well as he bids to land this for the second time but it could be that a bigger threat emerges from 2016 scorer Un De Sceaux.
1. Defi du Seuil
2. Un de Sceaux