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


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.


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.


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.


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

scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape