Tiara aiming for Tingle Creek crown
Published 04/12/2015 | 18:31
Connections of Special Tiara are looking for further Grade One glory when he takes in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Henry de Bromhead's well-backed charge won the Celebration Chase over this course and distance in April but tailed off on his reappearance in the Fortria Chase.
Owner Sally Rowley-Williams said: "He wasn't 100 per cent the last time he ran.
"It absolutely poured down so he hated the ground, anyway, but when he returned we found out he just wasn't quite right.
"Noel (Fehily) is such a great horseman and they seem to suit each other down to the ground.
"As Special Tiara is such a fluent jumper he doesn't need much instruction and Noel lets him get on with it.
"The fact Un De Sceaux isn't running might mean we get an easy lead, but even though people say we have to lead that's not true.
"He didn't make all (the running) at Sandown, and when he won his Grade One as a novice at Aintree, Bryan Cooper realised Overturn wanted to lead so he let him go on.
"It's more important he gets into a rhythm with his jumping than leading, and that is normally a case of if the ground is too soft or not."
The race has lost a little of its lustre with Simonsig ruled out with lameness. The grey, twice a winner at the Cheltenham Festival, was all set for his first run over fences since the 2013 Arkle Trophy having returned from over two years off with a fine run over hurdles at Aintree last month.
Trainer Nicky Henderson told Press Association Sport: "Simonsig is not running, he's lame. He was OK, Barry (Geraghty) came in and rode him and he schooled, but unfortunately he is lame tonight. I honestly don't know why - it is so, so cruel. I'm desperately sorry for Ronnie (Bartlett, owner), he has waited over two years to get him here.
"He schooled this morning and he was fine. It's horrible, especially given we had got a prep run into him that had gone so well."
It is a further blow for the race, with Un De Sceaux ruled out by Willie Mullins on Wednesday, when he was described as a "little flat".
Henderson will still be represented in the Grade One showpiece by Josses Hill.