Racing: Kauto Star to prevail in Tingle dogfight

Speed usually provides the thrills of this afternoon's Tingle Creek Chase but, after downpours turned the Sandown ground to heavy yesterday, it could be the nearest thing to a slogger who lifts the prize.

The long climb to the winning post at Sandown Park looked tougher race by race yesterday. If bookmakers offered prices on who would be in front at the foot of the hill, two fences from home, in the Tingle Creek, then Ashley Brook would be odds-on . But it is at that point that this exuberant front-runner will have to start repelling challengers.

The sternest challenge of all is likely to come from Kauto Star (2.35). On the steep ascent to the line, he seems sure to handle the conditions better than any of the seven-strong field.

The five-year-old, ridden by Mick Fitzgerald for the first time because Ruby Walsh is injured, can make this morning's tight odds seem justified.

Paul Nicholls, the grey's trainer whose stable was again among the winners yesterday, pointed out that Kauto Star had performed well on very soft ground in his native France. "To be honest it might help him," he said. "If there was more rain they probably would not go so quick in the early stages. As he is a less experienced horse, that would be in his favour."

If the Sandown card goes ahead - stewards will inspect the track at 7.30am - one horse will be better equipped than any other to handle the heavy ground. Every morning, Victram goes for a paddle in the Irish Sea.

Victram's trainer, Adrian McGuinness, trains on the Co Dublin coast at Lusk and exercises his small team daily on the beach at nearby Rush. Usually they paddle, some days they wade.

More and more trainers these days are building spas at their stables - experience shows that the bathing helps with leg knocks and general well-being.

"We use Rush beach as our spa," McGuinness explained yesterday. "The horses enjoy it and it definitely does them good. In fact,Victram had a paddle yesterday before we put him in the truck. He loves it."

When the truck reached England yesterday morning it broke down. But a replacement was soon found and last night Victram was at Sandown safe and sound.

McGuinness, a former trainer of show-jumping ponies, has trusted the ride on his strongly fancied five-year-old to Andrew Lynch, a 20-year-old unknown in Britain. But the trainer has no doubts about the skills of this 5lb claimer who was Ireland's champion novice point-to- point rider last season.

"Andrew turned professional only in July this year and has had 11 or 12 winners. I can assure you he's an up-and-coming rider. People will be hearing a lot more of him."

McGuinness confesses to having plenty of confidence too in Victram's chance this afternoon. "I wouldn't be sending him over there if I didn't have big hopes for him."

The horse's handicap mark has been protected by running him - successfully - on the Flat. Victram finished powerfully over 10 furlongs to win last month at Navan - a tough track - and he looks leniently weighted today.

Not far inland from McGuinness's stables, Fairyhouse tomorrow stages the Hatton's Grace Hurdle. This invariably instructive contest has only five runners - but includes the high-class Brave Inca, Back In Front and Solerina, as well as Golden Cross making a comeback with the top Flat rider Johnny Murtagh in the saddle.

Brave Inca's trainer, Colm Murphy, reopposes last year's winner, Solerina, in the two-and-a-half mile race and is hoping the seven-year-old can avenge that six-length defeat.

"My fellow is definitely more mature this year and it is a case that there are so few opportunities for him," Murphy said. Brave Inca, the mount of Tony McCoy, can continue a fine winning run en route to a bid for the 2006 Champion Hurdle.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Adopted Hero (Sandown 3.10)

NB: Brave Spirit

(Sandown 3.40)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map