views

Irish raider Big Zeb to stay upright and land Sandown's Tingle Creek

I&rsquo;M NOT SURE how much more rain Sandown Park will be able to take ahead of tomorrow&rsquo;s Tingle Creek meeting, so keep a close eye on the weather. However, if the forecast biblical storms do stay away, then Irish raider <strong>BIG ZEB</strong> looks the pick in the feature contest.<br /><br />Colm Murphy&rsquo;s dual Grade One winner is one of only five runners declared for the two-mile contest which looks set to be run on bottomless ground. Yet, the eight-year-old loves it knee-deep and has already won three times when the going has been officially described as &lsquo;heavy&rsquo;. <br /><br />The major worry for Big Zeb fans is his jumping as the last time he travelled over to England, he ended up on the floor in this year&rsquo;s Champion Chase. In fact, he fell in his Festival prep race as well and might well have beaten Master Minded at Punchestown if he hadn&rsquo;t taken half the last fence with him when mounting a challenge. However, there is no disputing the fact that he is top class on his day and he showed that he is in great heart when bolting up on similar ground at Navan last time. <br /><br />The fact that the field has been reduced to five will help him as they should set off at a pretty steady pace taking the emphasis away from his jumping frailties. Well Chief is obviously the class horse in the race, but I&rsquo;m worried this will come too soon after his Cheltenham heroics last month. Twist Magic looks sure to pose the biggest threat and will pick up the pieces if Big Zeb fails to complete.<br /><br />Sandown&rsquo;s two day meeting gets underway this afternoon and both Manyriverstocross (2.00pm) and Tatenen (2.35pm) look likely winners. However, I&rsquo;m more interested in backing <strong>FASHION INSIDER</strong> in Lingfield&rsquo;s 1.15pm contest. Brian Meehan&rsquo;s two-year-old will have come on a bundle for his debut run and looks hard to oppose. I&rsquo;ll also be having a few quid each-way on <strong>RED SOMERSET</strong> in the Blackberry Lane Handicap at 2.25pm. Ron Hodges&rsquo; veteran looked on the way back last time and is well drawn in stall two. <br /><br />He is by no means a certain runner in tomorrow&rsquo;s betinternet.com Henry VIII Novices&rsquo; Chase, but if Henrietta Knight&rsquo;s <strong>SOMERSBY</strong> does take his chance I think he will go very well. He was a staying on third in this year&rsquo;s Supreme Novices, but has always looked like a chaser in the making. He jumped beautifully at Warwick last month and I will be backing him each-way at 20/1 with Hills for the Arkle.<br /><br />Boylesports sponsor Chelten-ham&rsquo;s two day international meeting at Cheltenham next weekend and prices are now available on one of Saturday&rsquo;s feature races, the Boylesports Gold Cup. Tim Vaughan&rsquo;s <strong>ATOUCHBETWEENA-CARA</strong> has been chalked up as an 11/2 shot by the sponsors and there looks plenty of each-way value in taking that price now. The Paul Beck owned eight-year-old handles soft ground and is expected to go very close before stepping up in company. Connections feel he has the class to potentially run in a Cheltenham Gold Cup and if they are right, he must surely win next weekend off his current mark.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br /><strong>FASHION INSIDER</strong> 1.15pm Lingfield (Today)<br /><strong>RED SOMERSET</strong> e/w 2.25pm Lingfield (Today)<br /><strong>BIG ZEB</strong> 2.25pm Sandown (Tomorrow)<br /><strong>ATOUCHBETWEENACARA </strong>Boylesports Gold Cup<br /><strong>SOMERSBY</strong> Arkle (Cheltenham)