Wednesday 24 January 2018

Un De Sceaux team set to play waiting game over Tingle Creek

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Connections of Un De Sceaux are in no rush to decide whether he will defend his crown in the Tingle Creek at Sandown next month.

The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old won a thrilling renewal of the Grade One contest last season before going on to land the Clarence House Chase and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, stretching his top-level tally to seven.

Un De Sceaux is nearing a return to action and looks set to run either at Sandown or in the following day's Hilly Way Chase at Cork, with the brilliant Douvan reported by Mullins earlier this week to have Sandown as his "number one" target.

Speaking after seeing Bachasson run out an impressive winner at Thurles, Un De Sceaux's part-owner Colm O'Connell said: "He's a savage horse. I'm asked five times a day whether it's the Tingle Creek or the Hilly Way and we just don't know. Calls won't be made on that until closer to the time.

"We leave all that to Willie. He will make the call and he has always made the right decision by everyone. I think everyone aims for March now, anyway."

Meanwhile, Jack Kennedy is confident testing conditions will hold no fears for Outlander in the Betfair Chase at Haydock tomorrow.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned nine-year-old had disappointed on his previous three starts, including in last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup, but Kennedy is hopeful he will put his best foot forward in this weekend's feature event, which forms the first leg of the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, which carries a £1m bonus.

"He'll have to improve again probably, but he's in good form," he said. "He lost his way a bit last year and never looked comfortable in the Gold Cup and he wasn't jumping well at Punchestown on his first run back. It's a top-class race, but hopefully he'll give a good account of himself."

Irish Independent

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