888sport Tingle Creek Chase
|Grade 3 Handicap, Sandown 15:00
2m, Class 1
|Saturday 6th December 2014|
1 Dodging Bullets 9/1
2 Somersby 8/1
3 Hinterland 12/1
10 ran Distances: 2½l, 1½l, 3l
TIME 4m 0.40s (slow by 14.40s)
Dodging Bullets is the winner of the 2014 Tingle Creek Chase
With crack two-milers Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy on the sidelines, the way was clear for a new name on the Grade One roll of honour and Sam Twiston-Davies and his mount were full of running two out.
Going on from Somersby, who had been to the head of affairs throughout, the Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old never looked like stopping up the hill. Hinterland was third for Nicholls in the hands of Noel Fehily.
Sent off at 9-1, the winner scored by two and a half lengths from the gallant Somersby to give Nicholls a ninth winner in a race he has enjoyed tremendous moments with the likes of Kauto Star and Master Minded.
Twiston-Davies said: "Paul has had a great Saturday, and it's great that I can do my bit as well.
"It was a lovely race to ride in, they went a nice gallop and I always had one to aim at, so it worked out well.
"This is why this is an amazing job, to ride horses like this I'm very lucky."
Nicholls said: "I thought he'd win the last day at Cheltenham, but it looked like he needed it.
"He's always been a hard horse to train as he's very buzzy. We've been hard on him since his last run. Today was the best he's ever looked and he was as fit as he'll ever be.
"Horses like him have to be at their very best and he was.
"The Champion Chase will be our aim now. He' get stronger and better and we know how to train him now. We'll get him at his best at Cheltenham and he should be there with a chance."
Michael Channon jnr said of Somersby: "Brilliant. The old warrior is still going. He ran a blinder.
"He likes it up front. We did that in the Queen Mother and he seems to jump a lot better. He makes fewer mistakes and has his own way a bit more.
"Dad isn't here as he's in Barbados!"
There was a sad postscript to the race as the popular Oscar Whisky had to be put down as a result of injuries he suffered in a fall.
888sport Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1)
£150,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
|1st||Dodging Bullets 9/1
|11-7||P F Nicholls||6|
|2nd||2½||Somersby (IRE) 8/1
A P McCoy
|11-7||M R Channon||10|
|3rd||1½||Hinterland (FR) 12/1
N D Fehily
|11-7||P F Nicholls||6|
|4th||3||Balder Succes (FR) 7/2j
|5th||6||Third Intention (IRE) 20/1
|11-7||C L Tizzard||7|
|6th||1||William's Wishes (IRE) 20/1
|7th||8||God's Own (IRE) 7/2j
P J Brennan
|11-7||T R George||6|
|8th||24||Pepite Rose (FR) 33/1
|11-0||Miss V Williams||7|
|9th||s.h||Vukovar (FR) 7/1
D N Russell
|F||Oscar Whisky (IRE) 4/1
B J Geraghty
|11-7||N J Henderson||9|