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THE large weapons are again at Sandown this Saturday and so they do not come any extra well-known than Altior.
After a topsy-turvy marketing campaign final 12 months, he is out to set the file straight within the Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek. However he faces 5 rivals all hoping to snap at his heels.
Saturday brings one other Paul Nicholls vs. Nicky Henderson conflict on the massive stage
Altior – Henderson/De Boinville
There isn’t any doubting Altior’s class and skill, however there’s additionally little doubt he has some extent to show.
He has dominated this two-mile chase division for various seasons, however final 12 months suffered his first defeat over an impediment and missed loads of time via numerous niggles.
Added to that, he’s now ten, turning 11 within the new 12 months. He has additionally been off the monitor since February and was overwhelmed on his return final 12 months.
He deserves to be favorite, clearly, and by some margin. However at odds-on I’m completely happy to look at.
He needs to be ok to see these off, however there are some new younger weapons coming via and it is an intriguing match-up.
Politologue – Nicholls/Skelton
Final 12 months’s Champion Chase winner additionally makes his return and infrequently working contemporary may be the time to catch him.
However many nonetheless doubt if he’s really top-class. The Champion Chase final 12 months fell aside, little doubt, and Altior has swatted him away the thrice they’ve met.
However the rain will probably be welcome and he is gained this race earlier than.
On the very least, he’ll make Altior work. We all know the extent he operates at, and if Altior is under-cooked, you’ll be able to wager that Paul Nicholls can have his pair able to make it rely.
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Greaneteen – Nicholls/Cobden
You simply knew Paul Nicholls could be throwing the kitchen sink at this race. Altior would not scare them off like he as soon as might need.
And this younger pretender might effectively be a brand new star on this division.
He is had a gradual journey, however seems to be set to make the lower on the high sooner or later this season. His Exeter win final time signalled intent.
He is had a lot much less racing than loads of these and we do not know his ceiling simply but. It is unlikely he is nearly as good as Altior for now, however as we all know, Altior may not be the Altior we as soon as knew.
Rouge Vif – Whittington/Sheehan
More likely to go off in entrance, Rouge Vif was sensible final time at Cheltenham.
It was an enormous step up, however it was solely handicap. And right here he’s taking on the very best.
I would like his possibilities much more had the rain not arrived, however it seems to be as if he’ll should cope with gentle floor, if they do not pull him out.
He has health on his aspect and will have caught a number of of those chilly. I simply assume he wants good floor to be at his perfect, and he wants to achieve these ranges on this firm.
Brewin’upastorm – Murphy/Coleman
A forgotten horse to most, he is gifted on his day. However it’s an enormous leap of religion to likelihood him right here.
Dropped again in journey he should have a sniff of profitable an enormous one earlier than the season is out, however I am unable to see him difficult the massive weapons right here.
He is one to regulate later within the season and when the yard actually hit their stride.
Castlegrace Paddy – Fahy/Cooper
The rain will probably be greater than welcome for the only real Irish raider.
It is a daring shout leaping in to this firm, however he is already upset A Plus Tard this season and this is perhaps a extra open Grade 1 than common.
He’ll doubtless be up with the tempo and if within the combine late on might effectively be a participant. However is he ok? In all probability not.
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