The best Tingle Creek winners of the 21st century
The Tingle Creek Chase is one of the highlights of the Jumps season with an abundance of talent in the field every year.
This year the big names include Fox Norton, Douvan, Special Tiara and last year’s winner Un De Sceaux. You only have to look back at the past winners this century to see that the 2017 champion will join an elite list.
The Tingle Creek Christmas Festival has one Grade 2 race on Friday and two Grade Ones on Saturday, the last of which being the Tingle Creek Chase which will be shown live on ITV this Saturday at 2:55pm.
Here’s our list of the top four champions since 2000.
Winning year: 2003, 2004. Career Grade One wins: 13. Total career wins: 26
Moscow Flyer was an erratic jumper but that didn’t stop what was a commanding performance in the 2003 Tingle Creek, however, it was the following year’s race that proven showed class in what was one of the best Tingle Creeks of recent times.
The 2004 renewal had the crowd in raptures when the defending champ Moscow Flyer defiantly held off his rivals including hot favourite Azertyuiop and Well Chief after being chased all the way down the home stretch.
Jockey Barry Geraghty said “He missed the third last completely but nothing was going to get past him, that’s what he’s like, he just takes his chance and that’s what makes him great. It’s a great thing to have a horse like him, I’m sick of saying ‘he’s the man’, but he is.”
Winning year: 2005, 2006. Career Grade One wins: 16. Total career wins: 23
It is still amazing to think of all the accolades and records broken by the great Kauto Star.
During his pomp, there was no match for ‘King Kauto’ shown by winning the Tingle Creek twice.
Ruby Walsh after the 2006 Tingle Creek knew he was something special even that early in Kauto Star’s career, “He is an exceptional horse. He is one of those horses where all you have to do is steer with one leg either side. I’ve never ridden a horse like him.”
In a career that spanned nine years, Kauto Star won two Cheltenham Gold Cups, five King George VI Chases and an incredible 16 Grade One victories. He was the greatest of his generation.
Winning year: 2008, 2010. Career Grade One wins: 8. Total career wins: 16
In a decade that was blessed to have Moscow Flyer and Kauto Star among the winners of the Tingle Creek Chase, the two-mile division was spoilt once again when another superstar made its way to Sandown Park.
Master Minded first won the Tingle Creek in 2008 where he put his rivals to the sword, the closest of those was 10 lengths adrift. He then successfully defended his crown at Cheltenham in 2010 in a supreme jumping performance which gave Paul Nicholls his sixth successive win in the race.
Winning year: 2012. Career Grade One wins: 9. Total career wins: 18
When Sprinter Sacre or the ‘Black Aeroplane’ flew around the track, it was poetry in motion.
Sprinter reached the peak of his powers going into the 2012 Tingle Creek, and it showed on the track as he finished 15 lengths ahead of his closest rival. It was this stage of career where he won his sixth race in-a-row and he would go on to win the next four races including the Cheltenham Champion Chase.
Sprinter Sacre was certainly a popular winner at Sandown, it was where he ended his career winning the Grade One Celebration Chase which completed an incredible comeback season.