ITV Racing Tips: Chacun Pour Soi to make up for Festival defeat in Tingle Creek
After a week of negative headlines for racing, the weekend action provides some welcome respite. Not only will the best chaser in Britain and Ireland last season, according to the official classifications, be in action but the Grand National fences will be jumped for the last time until the big race itself in April.
Chacun Pour Soi topped the Anglo-Irish ratings despite suffering defeat at Cheltenham where he finished third in the Champion Chase. But he sealed top spot with wins in his four other starts including at Punchestown.
He returns in Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase with something to prove, having yet to win a race outside Ireland. There will be a full house at Sandown where the best 2m chase outside of Cheltenham is invariably box office.
At Aintree, one of the biggest names in jump racing Tiger Roll returns to the scene of his two Grand National wins, but he won’t be going anywhere near Bechers Brook this time.
He will contest the Many Clouds Chase with another celebrated 11-year-old, the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River.
It will be among eight races screened by ITV, four from Sandown which also includes the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, and four from Aintree where the Grand National fences will be jumped in the Becher Chase.
Coverage begins on ITV4 at 13:15 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
Though named after a Grand National winner, this race is run on the Mildmay Course over regulation fences, despite the presence of two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll.
The extraordinary 11-year-old, who has won £1.4 million in prize money, came back to record his fifth win at the Cheltenham Festival when he landed the Cross-Country Chase for the third time in March. He had already been taken out of the National and ran in the Betway Bowl instead in which he was a well beaten fourth.
Former Gold Cup winner Native River was third in the same race, 44 lengths off the winner. Age could be catching up with both in this company and a horse like Protektorat, five years their junior, looks a better proposition.
He finished well to take second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and a step up in distance should not trouble him.
Chacun Pour Soi went off a red hot favourite for the Champion Chase but couldn’t get the job done at Cheltenham in March.
It was a major surprise because he had looked brilliant in his lead-up races. For some reason he did not fire but put it all behind him with an exhilarating display in the Punchestown Champion Chase, where he beat Ryanair Chase winner Allaho and Nube Negra, who finished in front of him at Cheltenham.
Some still doubt he can be the real deal at Cheltenham but a victory in this will go a long way to squashing those theories. A head-to-head with Shishkin looks like it will have to wait until March but for now Chacun Pour Soi needs to show he can be top dog in Britain, not just Ireland.
He should manage it against a decent field of which Nube Negra will be a decent yardstick.
It will be a hectic 35 minutes with the cameras returning to Aintree for a race run over 3m2f of the Grand National course. Vieux Lion Rouge, who won the race for the second time last year, runs yet again as a 12-year-old.
Mac Tottie has another spin round having won the Grand Sefton Chase last month while there are others returning for the first time since the Grand National itself such as Kimberlite Candy and Chris’s Dream.
Chris’s Dream was in the process of running a very good race in April. He was contesting fourth place when unseating his rider at the fourth last as stablemate Minella Times landed the prize under Rachael Blackmore.
He has to carry top weight but with his favoured soft ground, back over a shorter trip, he should acquit himself well.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 4th December
13:30 Aintree – Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle
13:50 Sandown – Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
14:05 Aintree – Many Clouds Chase
14:25 Sandown – Tingle Creek Chase
14:40 Aintree– Becher Handicap Chase
15:00 Sandown – London National
15:15 Aintree – 2m4f handicap hurdle
15.35 Sandown – December Handicap Hurdle
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.