Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
NUBE Negra landed a big prize at Cheltenham last month and connections believe he can continue the good form in the Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
The Dan Skelton-trained Nube Negra impressed on his comeback when winning the Grade 2 Shloer Chase by six lengths from a boutique field that included 2020 Tingle Creek and Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Politologue and 2021 Queen Mother winner Put The Kettle On.
Nube Negra (7-4) is set to face a maximum of six rivals in Saturday’s feature race where the betting is headed by five-time Grade 1 winner Chacun Pour Soi (11-8), one of two runners for Willie Mullins who is also represented by Ryanair Chase winner Allaho (14-1).
Nube Negra finished one place ahead of Chacun Pour Soi when the pair finished second and third in this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase and Mullin’s charge reversed the finishing order when winning at Punchestown in April, with Nube Negra second.
Skelton hopes to go one better this time, he said: “It is a Grade 1 and Willie is bringing over Chacun Pour Soi who is very good and though it’s his first start of the season I wouldn’t think he will be needing the run.
“We beat him at Cheltenham in the Champion Chase, but he beat us on slower ground at Punchestown at the back end of the season.
“I’ve got our horse as well as I can have him. The forecast looks like it will give us decent ground which suits us a lot. We know we have got a big task on, but I’m really looking forward to it.
“A repeat of that Cheltenham run will put him very close and with Chacun Pour Soi there he will maybe need a little bit more, but I think he has improved a bit.”
Earlier this week the Tingle Creek field was reduced from eight runners to seven when the 2019 Tingle Creek winner Defi Du Seuil was deemed a non-runner.
Trainer Philip Hobbs told the Racing Post: “Defi Du Seuil won’t be going to Sandown on Saturday now, for two reasons. Firstly, we just feel it might be coming a bit quick after Ascot [when finishing fourth].
“And secondly, the ground looks like it might be on the quicker side and we just feel that these days, he might need a bit further than two miles in those conditions.”
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