Tingle Creek Festival Day One Preview: Will Star Gate have lift-off?
Latest odds ahead of the opening day at Sandown
The Tingle Creek Festival begins on Friday as racing fans return to Sandown for the first time since the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.
The limited crowd could be in for a treat with six races to enjoy, including the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle.
Before it all gets underway, we’ve outlined the day’s key runners and riders.
12:45 Sandown Park Amateur Jockey’s Handicap Chase
13:15 Londesborough Handicap Chase
13:50 Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase
14:25 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)
15:00 Pertempts Network Handicap Hurdle
15:35 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
Star Gate heads the betting here and looks like a very good prospect. He’s unbeaten in his two races to date, winning at Belharbour back in February, then following that up by finishing six-and-a-half lengths clear on his debut over obstacles at Chepstow in October.
Paul Nicholls’ Sending Love could be Star Gate’s biggest threat, especially if it rains. He returned from a wind op over the summer to win resoundingly at Ffos Las last month.
Valleres could be another to keep an eye on, with two wins from four races to date.
Can Kilconny Bridge make it five wins in a row? She looked in great shape at Chepstow last month, finishing seven-and-a-half lengths ahead of second-placed Kalahari Queen. Ben Godfrey was aboard for the most recent two of those victories and he’ll be back in the saddle here.
Storm Arising beat the reopposing Potters Hedger on his reappearance at Lingfield last month. As his name suggests, he seems to raise his game in bad weather, while Illegal Model comes into this off the back of a promising run at Uttoxeter.
Our traders have Emmpressive Lady at the top of the betting, after she showed real improvement to win at Exeter last time out. She’ll need to raise her game further on her handicap debut, but there’s real potential there.
Nicky Henderson will be hoping Vegas Blue can make at instant impact at this level, while Whitehotchillifili is out to make up for a disappointing showing on her return at Wetherby.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.