Tataniano and Sizing Europe stake leading Arkle claims

Racehorses seldom stick to the script as scrupulously as Tataniano did here at Cheltenham yesterday. Seconds after Sizing Europe had coasted over the line at Punchestown, in the process setting a merciless standard in this division, the tapes went up for the 10th running of the Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase – and Tataniano promptly produced a performance that already makes their projected showdown here in March something to warm the cockles during long evenings in the meantime.

Paul Nicholls, the champion trainer, had saddled Tatenen to a runaway success in the same colours last year, but preferred to compare Tataniano to another of his previous winners, Azertyuiop, who went on to win both the Arkle Trophy and the Queen Mother Champion Chase itself. "Tatenen was always a hype horse," he said dismissively. "He's slow, wants three miles. He was flat out in the Arkle and he was flat out here on Saturday. This one is more in the mould of Azertyuiop. He has all the speed in the world."

Tataniano certainly handled the fences with remarkable alacrity, barely breaking stride as he hurtled from one to the next. True, he only had three pursuers and the most competent of them, Fosters Cross, was clinging to his coat-tails, about three lengths down, when slipping and unseating three out. But it was difficult not to be impressed with the energy Tataniano retained for the hill, never in any danger as Pigeon Island toiled his way into second, six lengths away.

"We did have concerns about the ground," Nicholls said, "but knew we would make the running and there's some fresh ground along the inside. He will only have one more run before the Festival, probably over Christmas, because he's one of those that is better kept fresh."

"He was very sure what he was doing," winning jockey Ruby Walsh said. "He had the choke open and was going a right lick over the first couple of fences. He was very quick to take off and land. Last year we were going two and a half miles with him but he is probably a flat-out two-miler"

Paddy Power offered just 5-1 against Tataniano for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy, but Cashman, will lay twice those odds. Nobody will be taking anything for granted with Sizing Europe on the scene, now widely quoted as 6-1 favourite.

Despite desperate conditions, Sizing Europe again looked a natural over fences jumping impeccably under Andrew McNamara before cruising home from a decent field. Henry de Bromhead, his trainer, indicated that he would probably be seen next at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting. It was two years to the day since Sizing Europe announced himself as a top-class hurdler, in a big handicap at Cheltenham. His destiny seems more explicit now, but for the moment it is one he must share with Tataniano.

Turf account: Chris McGrath

*NAP

Lady De La Vega (3.40 Leicester)

Showed ability in her point-to-point and bumper education and again in the three hurdle runs required for a handicap rating. This step up in trip can allow her to show her true colours.



*NEXT BEST

Wheels Up (1.20 Plumpton)

Became disappointing in Ireland but a change of stable might prompt him to confirm himself very fairly treated on his best form.

*ONE TO WATCH

Fredo (Ian Williams) evidently needed the run on his return at Stratford last month because he stormed up the hill for third behind Lord Ragnar at Cheltenham on Friday to confirm that he is handicapped to improve beyond two miles.



*WHERE THE MONEY'S GOING

Tell Massini is 14-1 for the Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after his success over the course yesterday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Developer (ASP.NET, F#, SQL, MVC, Bootstrap, JavaScript)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?