Betfair Tingle Creek Chase
|Grade 3 Handicap, Sandown 14:55
1m 7f 119y, Class 1
|Saturday 8th December 2018|
Harry Whittington is looking forward to seeing what Saint Calvados can achieve this season after he ended Footpad's unbeaten record at Naas on November 10.
British raider Saint Calvados jumped well in front under Gavin Sheehan in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase, while the Willie Mullins-trained Footpad was seemingly ring-rusty with his fencing.
Footpad had powered home to win the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival in March, leaving the flailing front-runner Saint Calvados to finish a remote fourth, in their sole previous clash.
Ruby Walsh's mount was struggling to close down the leader as they jumped the final fence at Naas on Saturday however and Footpad slithered on landing, giving his rider little chance of staying on board.
Saint Calvados cruised home for a decisive success with Tycoon Prince claiming second place.
Whittington had made a brave call in taking on the Arkle winner first time out and he felt his five-year-old had proved that his Cheltenham running was all wrong.
"You can just draw a line through the Arkle now, and he's probably silenced the doubters. He's come back and done it well," said the trainer.
"He's a proper two-miler, and Gavin felt he was just hacking round. He's only going to get better with age, as he's still a big, raw horse and only five. It's very exciting."
The Tingle Creek at Sandown is set to be next up, where Saint Calvados may meet Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Altior.
Whittington believes he has a top-drawer two-miler on his books.
"He'll go for the Tingle Creek next and I'm looking forward to him going over the Railway fences there," said the handler.
"After the Tingle Creek he may have a break and come out somewhere in February as a prep for Cheltenham, if all goes to plan.
"He's a much stronger horse now and his work has improved significantly at home. He's more the finished article and he'll get even stronger next year. It's super, super exciting."
View all Horse Racing betting
Betfair Tingle Creek Chase 2017 (Grade 1)
£150,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 119y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Politologue (FR) 7/2||Harry Cobden
|P F Nicholls||6|
|2nd||½||Fox Norton (FR) 8/13f||R M Power
|C L Tizzard||7|
|3rd||5||Ar Mad (FR) 8/1||Joshua Moore
|G L Moore||7|
|4th||hd||Charbel (IRE) 12/1||N D Fehily
|K C Bailey||6|
|5th||7||San Benedeto (FR) 33/1||Nick Scholfield
|P F Nicholls||6|
|F||Sir Valentino (FR) 20/1||A P Heskin
|T R George||8|
|NR||Ordinary World (IRE)||Non Runner
|H de Bromhead||7|