Tingle Creek Festival day one predictions: Maximilian can maintain winning start in feature
- Friday is day one off Sandown's Tingle Creek Festival
- Recommended bets:
- Valsheda to win 12.40pm
- Non Stop to win 1.10pm
- Milan Bridge to win 1.45pm
- Maximilian to win 2.20pm
- Miss Amelia to win 2.55pm
Two days of high-class National Hunt racing come from Sandown Park across Friday and Saturday as the famous Esher venue stages their Tingle Creek Festival.
Our Racing Post analyst takes a race-by-race look at Friday's Sandown action, with racing underway from 12.40pm through until 3.30pm.
12.40pm - Betfair Exchange Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (3m)
Le Breuil justified cramped odds to win a veterans' handicap chase at Huntingdon in last month's comeback and should give another good account for trainer Ben Pauling here but preference is for Nicky Henderson's VALSHEDA on seasonal reappearance.
He has got low miles on the clock and has improved with every start over fences.
He took a fall at Newbury 12 months ago on first attempt but finished a good second behind Killer Kane at Kempton in February after a short break and then won at Ffos Las (3m, good to soft) in March.
The excellent Will Biddick is in his corner for this Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase and they can land the prize.
Racing Post selection: Valsheda
1.10pm - Pinsent Masons Introductory Juvenile Hurdle (2m)
Kansas Du Berlais was fourth in Listed company at Auteuil in September prior to joining Gary Moore and is very interesting on UK bow for a yard that has won this race twice in recent years.
It will not be straightforward, however, and NON STOP is a major threat for Joe Tizzard and Harry Cobden.
He beat a well-touted hurdles newcomer at Warwick (2m, good to soft) on debut, the pair having stretched right away from the field, and should be capable of a chunk of improvement.
Racing Post selection: Non Stop
1.45pm - Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (2m4f)
MILAN BRIDGE was the beneficiary of last month's infamous Ascot walkover, but his Aintree hurdles comeback prior to that saw him finishing second behind Remastered — David Pipe's charge since going on to be second in Newbury's major handicap chase.
Tongue-tied for the first time now, Paul Nicholls' inmate can make a winning start in this sphere.
Racing Post selection: Milan Bridge
2.20pm - Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m4f)
This Grade 2 typically features a useful sort or two and MAXIMILIAN looks very likely to fit that bill for Donald McCain and Brian Hughes.
He has won all five starts thus far, a point-to-point, two bumpers and two hurdles contests at Carlisle and Bangor.
He gave weight and a beating to some solid benchmarks last time in Wales and sets a useful standard now for this contest.
Man At Work debuted with an Aintree novice win last month and is joined by Henri The Second for Paul Nicholls in presenting the likeliest dangers.
Racing Post selection: Maximilian
2.55pm - Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap Chase (1m7½f)
Darebin has a real fondness for Sandown Park and counts many good runs here alongside his three C&D wins.
He is out of the handicap by 3lb but Gary Moore's 10-year-old is not crossed off in haste around here.
October's Kelso winner Corrigeen Rock has potential for better still but MISS AMELIA pitched up in a decent contest at Aintree last month on the back of four months off and may be sharper now given her prolific record second time back from a break (three wins and a close second previously).
Racing Post selection: Miss Amelia
3.30pm - Pertemps Network Novices' Handicap Hurdle (2m)
Hugos New Horse justified cramped odds at Wincanton last time and Paul Nicholls will be anticipating improvement from him, but SADLER'S BAY is one to keep a close eye on.
He ran well in maiden/novice hurdles at Exeter back at the start of the year and an opening mark of 107 could be lenient, while the booking of champion jockey Brian Hughes bodes well as he does well for this yard.
Racing Post selection: Sadler's Bay