SECOND 3:00 – Sandown – BETVICTOR TINGLE CREEK CHASE (Grade 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 2m Good, Good to Soft in places on chase course
Somersby put in a good performance to win the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on his seasonal reappearance 32 days ago.
His jockey Dominic Elsworth, said after the race: “Last season was a bit of a wash-out for him but he is bigger and better this year.”
He does appear to have been given a new lease of life under the Mick Channon regime and with course, distance and going all in his favour looks a big runner today.
Somersby has been a very consistent horse over fences as in 20 starts he has won five times and been placed second and third on another 13 occasions. He has won at graded level twice over fences and showed on his last start at Exeter that the nine-year-old bay gelding has plenty more to offer over shorter trips.
He runs over 2 miles this afternoon and in seven runs over the trip he has won three times and been placed twice. He has run at Sandown twice previously, both times over today’s trip. He won the Grade 2 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at this meeting in 2009 and was second to Sanctuaire in the Grade 2 Celebration Chase in April.
His win at Exeter came over 2 miles 1 ½ furlongs and although he won he was just about at the end of his stamina and just held on all out. The going was no worse than Good to Soft and Henrietta Knight who previously trained Somersby and is now assistant to Mick Channon said after the race that he is better over shorter distances.
Running over 2 miles today should be ideal as will the underfoot conditions which are Good, Good to Soft in places. With three wins and four placed runs in Good ground and two wins and seven placed runs in Good to Soft ground conditions are certainly in his favour.
He is ridden by his regular jockey Dominic Elsworth who has ridden him 14 times. The partnership has won four times and been placed second or third on six other occasions. Dominic has ridden three winners from 14 rides in the last 14 days and has a 26% winning strike rate riding for Mick Channon.
With the absence of Sprinter Sacre this year’s renewal of the Tingle Creek is wide open. Decent cases can be made for half the field today but after his win at Exeter last time, his good form over course and distance and going conditions to suit, Somersby looks capable of going very close.
“”I live on the Cumbrian/Northumberland border. I have been involved in racing for over 20 years – the highlight being when a two-year-old I owned won first time out at Hamilton Park. I work in the racing game spending my time writing, researching and on course as a paddock judge – you can learn more about a horse’s chances watching them in the pre-parade and parade rings than you might imagine.”
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