Waiting Patiently, Ruth Jefferson’s Ascot Chase winner, will drop back to two miles for the Tingle Creek Chase on Saturday afternoon at Sandown Park rather than head to either Punchestown or Huntingdon over two-and-a-half miles.

Trainer Jefferson confirmed this week that Sandown was her first preference for the eight-year-old, in order to ascertain whether or not her stable star really has the dash to keep up with the crack two-milers, especially now that Altior has all but left the division.

Waiting Patiently to Have Pace Tested

Jefferson and her team are planning to find out if their boy is fast enough for two miles on this occasion before then mapping out the rest of Waiting Patiently’s season. The son of Flemensfirth, who is to be ridden as usual by Brian Hughes, will once again be fitted with cheekpieces after wearing them for the first time when running slightly below-par in the Melling Chase at Aintree back in spring.

Stable confidence is high as they feel that, while he naturally has something to prove at the top level over the minimum trip, Waiting Patiently tends to go very well when fresh and in the forecast good to soft ground.

There has been plans to run the gelding in the Haldon Gold Cup a few weeks ago, though they were shelved when he received an unfortunate bacterial infection.

Quality in Opposition

Waiting Patiently’s participation in the Tingle Creek is fascinating but as it stands, he can be backed at around 10/1 with the field looking strong despite Altior’s absence from the two-mile division.

The market is headed by JLT Novice winner Defi Du Seuil, Philip Hobbs’ horse having been tipped to take control of the two-miler’s division this season after starting off his campaign with a good win in Grade 2 company at Cheltenham.

They are joined also by Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux, Paul Nicholls’ Politologue, Alan King’s Sceau Royal and Nicky Henderson’s Janika in the entries at this stage in what looks to be a truly high-quality field.

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Novices Go in Henry VIII

Earlier on the card, the Tingle Creek contenders of the future are given a big test in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.
Maire Banrigh, Grand Sancy, Summerville Boy and Nube Negra are all fascinating potential participants however the market is led by Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Torpillo, a recent winner at Warwick who has in fact already run three times this season.

Given that they are arguably less exposed this term, some shrewdies are already eyeing up others as possible betting fodder, especially given that at just four years old the ante post favourite may just be lacking for a little experience on this occasion.