Uxizandre: won the Ryanair Chase at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew King 7:50PM 24 JAN 2017
SATURDAY’S rearranged Clarence House Chase took on a different complexion on Tuesday with trainer Gary Moore ruling out dare-devil chaser Ar Mad after the Grade 1 was rerouted from Ascot’s abandoned card last weekend.
However, the race picked up an intriguing contender in the shape of Cheltenham Festival winner Uxizandre, who could make his first appearance since winning the 2015 Ryanair Chase.
As well as Ar Mad’s absence, Moore has also resisted temptation to enter Sire De Grugy, with the stablemates heading elsewhere for their festival preps.
“They have not been entered as I prefer to wait for other races for them as there is a world between Ascot and Cheltenham,” said Moore.
“There is a £150,000 chase at Ascot next month which Ar Mad will probably go for – even if he had run at Ascot last weekend the February race was the plan in any case.
“While Sire De Grugy will end up going to Newbury for the Game Spirit Chase on February 11 or we have the option of running him in a two mile handicap chase at Sandown next weekend. I have no preference at the moment and we will make up our minds closer to the time.”
Uxizandre, sidelined since winning the Ryanair, was a fascinating addition to the race, however, in which Un De Sceaux is the odds-on favourite among seven entries, which also include Dodging Bullets, Eastlake, Royal Regatta, Special Tiara and Top Gamble.
Willie Mullins issued an upbeat bulletin on hot favourite Un De Sceaux on Tuesday and says the Tingle Creek winner is none the worse for a wasted journey to Ascot, which was frozen off.
“Un De Sceaux is great and I could not be any happier with him,” said Mullins. “The travelling did not seem to take anything out of him and I am pleased with what I have seen from him at home. I am looking forward to the race.”