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Tingle Creek Chase: Shishkin among seven in Sandown showpiece but Ferny Hollow misses out

Shishkin failed to line up in last year's King George, won by Greaneteen who is back for more in this year's event, although Bryony Frost will not be in the saddle due to injury; Willie Mullins' exciting chaser Ferny Hollow was not confirmed for the race

Image: Shishkin could return at Sandown on Saturday

Last year's winner Greaneteen and the returning Shishkin are two of the star names among seven confirmations for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

Greaneteen provided trainer Paul Nicholls with a 12th victory in the Grade One contest 12 months ago and returns to defend his crown off the back of an impressive victory in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin was a notable absentee from last year's Tingle Creek, but proved himself better than ever in winning the Desert Orchid at Kempton over the Christmas period before getting the better of Energumene in a pulsating Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January.

Nico de Boinville riding Shishkin clear the last
Image: Nico de Boinville riding Shishkin clear at the last

However, the eight-year-old will return with a point to prove if given the green light to make his comeback this weekend, having been pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Alan King looks set to give last season's Arkle hero Edwardstone his belated reappearance after missing engagements at Cheltenham and Ascot due to unsuitable ground.

There is a strong presence from Ireland with Henry de Bromhead's Fortria Chase winner Captain Guinness and the Willie Mullins-trained Gentleman De Mee - who slammed Edwardstone at Aintree in the spring but unseated his rider on his reappearance at Naas - joined by Dunvegan from Pat Fahy's yard.

Bryony Frost and Greaneteen clear the last in the Tingle Creek at Sandown
Image: Bryony Frost and Greaneteen clear the last in the Tingle Creek at Sandown

One from the Mullins team who doesn't feature is the exciting Ferny Hollow, who had an entry but has not been confirmed for the race.

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The small but select field is completed by Funambule Sivola, who finished second to Energumene in the Champion Chase before being pulled up at Aintree.

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