Nicholls hopeful Mr Mole can give McCoy winning send-off
Published 21/04/2015 | 02:30
A maximum of 13 rivals will line up against Mr Mole, Tony McCoy's intended mount in the race named in his honour for his last day in the saddle at Sandown on Saturday.
The bet365 A P McCoy Celebration Chase has attracted a stellar field with star billing going to the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding.
It would be a fitting winner in many ways as McCoy announced his retirement when partnering the seven-year-old, owned by his boss J P McManus, to victory at Newbury in February.
Mr Mole was only eighth in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham won by stablemate Dodging Bullets, but Nicholls is happy with his condition.
"Mr Mole remains in good form since Cheltenham and won well at the track earlier in the season. I might also run Vibrato Valtat in the same race," the champion trainer explained.
Sire De Grugy, winner of this race for the last two years and the Champion Chase in 2014, could take his chance as could another former champion, Sprinter Sacre.
Somersby, second to Dodging Bullets at Cheltenham, is set to taken his chance for the Mick Channon team.
Henry de Bromhead's Special Tiara, which was third in the Champion Chase, and Gordon Elliott's smart novice Clarcam are the two Irish-trained entries.
Today, the latter brings a fairly sizeable horsebox down to Wexford where an unusual experiment is taking place as the right-handed venue is staging all its races the other way around.
Elliott has seven horses entered (two of whom are listed as reserves), but he might have to wait until the end of the card to visit the winner's enclosure.
The in-form Meath handler's The Absent Mare - which showed her best form on good ground when trained in England - looks a good bet in the handicap chase provided she can, ironically enough, overcome a lengthy absence against some moderate types.
Elliott's Miss Dinamic has been a model of consistency of later and Nina Carberry's mount is taken to get her reward in the closing mares' bumper, but her stablemate Akorakor may have to play second fiddle to Paul Nolan's Solita in the conditions hurdle.
The nap vote goes to Robert Tyner's proven good ground performer Dushrembrandt which is taken to follow up his recent Tramore success in the staying novice chase.