Douvan has not been seen since winning at Punchestown in April
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Graham Dench 3:15PM 28 NOV 2016
RACING POST Arkle hero Douvan is among eight runners entered for Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek, with the race having been reopened.
Douvan’s stablemate Un De Sceaux also holds an entry, however Willie Mullins says no finalised plans have been formulated.
He said on Monday: “Douvan and Un De Sceaux are both entered for the race but there are no plans yet. It will be another couple of days before any decisions are made.”
It could be a big day for trainer Gary Moore, as Ar Mad is entered with last year’s winner Sire De Grugy, who showed he retains plenty of ability with victory at Ascot earlier this month.
Ar Mad was ruled out of a shot at the Racing Post Arkle in March through injury, with the six-year-old having been off the track since a dominant Plumpton success in February, and while Saturday’s Sandown feature is the number one target, Moore has also given Ar Mad the alternative of the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon the following afternoon.
He said: “The Tingle Creek is my preference, because I would sooner start him off at two miles than two and a half, but that might change if Sandown was frozen off or if the ground there was nearer good than good to soft.
“I’m going to talk to Ar Mad’s owner, Ashley Head, and we’ll be keeping options open until later in the week.”
Ar Mad impressed with four front-running wins last term, including in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase on the Tingle Creek card, when a bold-jumping ten-length defeat of Bristol De Mai confirmed him as a top novice.
Moore added: “He is as ready as I can get him at home, and he’s a busy horse, so you would think he would get fitter quicker than some of the others, but last year he ran at Plumpton first time in a donkey race and ran bad. Everything went wrong that day though, so I hope it’s not a reflection of what might happen first time out again this year.”
The Tom George-trained pair of God’s Own and Sir Valentino – an impressive winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on November 1 – have also been entered, while Vibrato Valtat represents champion trainer Paul Nicholls.