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Tingle Creek Chase: Jonbon grinds out Sandown victory for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville

Jonbon had to battle on testing ground but pulled out enough to win the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown; he had enough to defeat Edwardstone by just under three lengths at the line; Jonbon remains 5/2 second-favourite for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham

Jonbon and Nico De Boinville quicken into the lead in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown
Image: Jonbon and Nico de Boinville quicken into the lead in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Jonbon showed a different side to his character when running out a gritty winner of the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

Jonbon showed a different side to his character when running out a gritty winner of the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

The two-mile Grade One was run in very testing conditions and Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old was not seen to best effect but took his record to 12 wins from 14 career outings.

Jonbon and Nico De Boinville after winning the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown
Image: Jonbon and Nico de Boinville after winning the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Only four went to post with Boothill a non-runner but Gary Moore's Haddex Des Obeaux made sure there was no hanging about.

Nico de Boinville had Jonbon settled in second but when the runners went out down the back straight he was jumping so well he soon found himself upsides.

Edwardstone survived a bad blunder at one of the Railway Fences but did not lose much momentum and he soon got involved on the turn for home.

Briefly Jonbon looked like he may have a real fight on his hands but his class come to the fore and he was soon back on the bridle.

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Having safely jumped the last fence Jonbon, sent off the 30-100 favourite, stayed on strongly to beat Edwardstone by two and three-quarter lengths.

"You have got to say it is always going to be tough in this ground and rightly we said hang on to him as long as possible today as that is the sort of ground where you can get caught out," said Henderson having saddling his third winner in the Grade One event.

"This is a horse that likes to attack it, but it was essential to keep his powder a bit dry today. It was the plan to just hold on to him a bit longer than you might do. He is an attacker and you can really let him rip, but that is dangerous in these conditions.

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"He's jumping very well this year, but there is no reason why. He was a novice last year and when he was here at the back-end of last season he was taking on the very old professional chasers. He's grown up now and has to be a senior and he's doing that well.

"The way he moves, he is still a better horse on better ground because a classy horse can cope with everything.

"Do any of them really want it like that? It is miles better on the chase course than it is the hurdles course but there was never a worry about not running him compared to the other guys because the chase course is generally just very soft winter ground.

"There are only two options for him (on the way to the Champion Chase) and that is the Game Spirit (Newbury, February 10) or the Clarence House (Ascot, January 20) and I suspect he will have one run on the way."

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