/ Racing

Big Zeb leads Tingle charge

Updated: Monday, 30 Nov 2009 16:02

Big Zeb goes at Sandown on Saturday
Big Zeb goes at Sandown on Saturday

Irish raider Big Zeb leads a 12-strong list of confirmations for Saturday's Keith Prowse Hospitality Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

Colm Murphy's charge was only narrowly beaten by reigning two-mile champion Master Minded at Punchestown last season and made a triumphant return with an easy win on his seasonal bow.

He will not face a rematch with Paul Nicholls' star as Master Minded is currently sidelined after finishing third at Cheltenham on his return, but Well Chief and Mahogany Blaze, who both beat him that day, should take their chance.

Trained by David Pipe and Nigel Twiston-Davies respectively, they form part of a strong home defence that also features 2007 winner Twist Magic and Free World from Nicholls' yard.

Crack Away Jack, fourth in last year's Champion Hurdle and winner of his only start over fences, is a surprise inclusion for Emma Lavelle.

Last season's Champion Chase third Petit Robin could feature for Nicky Henderson, while Howard Johnson's Tidal Bay and the Gary Moore-trained Fix The Rib are also still in there.

Forpadydeplasterer, the 2009 Arkle hero, is another to pose a huge threat from Ireland.

Former Champion Chase winner Newmill and Willie Mullins' Barker are also in the mix.

Crack Away Jack has also been entered for the Henry VIII Novices' Chase on the same card following his 17-length romp at the track on November 7.

Lavelle is planning to consider the options with the five-year-old's owners before making a decision later in the week.

The trainer explained: ‘We have put him in both just to see what it looked like and I'll discuss it with the owners before we make a decision.

‘We wanted to see how the races were shaping up. Obviously he has only had one run over fences, but he has been schooling over them all his life so it's not as if it's a whole new experience for him.

‘He will work tomorrow and then school again on Wednesday and we will look at it after that.

‘It would be a big ask for him against horses like Big Zeb, if we decide to go that way.

‘The ground might affect the decision a little bit as I think he likes slightly better ground.’

Whether Crack Away Jack tackles the Tingle Creek or takes up his novice engagement, Lavelle is looking forward to getting him back on track.

‘It's a case of the sooner the better he gets back on the track judged on his behaviour at home!’ she added.

‘He just loves life and if you go to the races with him, it just gives you a couple of quiet days before he starts winding himself up again.

‘He's in fantastic form, though, and I couldn't be happier with him.’