Thursday 14 December 2017

Sacre heads Tingle Creek entries

BIG guns Sprinter Sacre and Sanctuaire feature among 10 entries for the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday after the Grade One contest was re-opened.

The two brilliant two-milers will put their 100pc records over fences on the line at the Esher venue in an eagerly-awaited showdown.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Sprinter Sacre was a superb winner of the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival while Sanctuaire has yet to put a foot wrong since Paul Nicholls switched him to the bigger obstacles.

Nicholls has also entered Doeslessthanme and Henderson also has a second string in French Opera. The numbers are made up by Escort'men, Gracchus, Idarah, Kinkeel, Kumbeshwar and His Excellency.

Tom George, meanwhile, is looking forward to running Big Fella Thanks in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree on Saturday.

The 10-year-old has completed the course in three John Smith's Grand Nationals with a best position of fourth in 2010 when he was trained by Paul Nicholls.

Big Fella Thanks had his first run since joining George's Slad stable at Aintree over the Mildmay fences, but he unseated Paddy Brennan at the eighth.

"The plan has been for Big Fella Thanks to run in the Becher Chase since he came back into training," said George. "He had a run round the other day. It didn't quite go to plan, but he gave himself a good blow and he's none the worse for it. I'm looking forward to it and he's had a good preparation."

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