Ar Mad: won the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown 12 months ago
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Graham Dench 12:03PM 28 NOV 2016
AR MAD is on course for a return in the Betfair Tingle Creek on Saturday, but has been given the alternative of the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon the following afternoon by trainer Gary Moore.
The Sandown Grade 1, in which Moore also has dual previous winner Sire De Grugy and in which Ar Mad is favourite ahead of Un De Sceaux in some lists, remains the first choice, but Moore has one eye on the weather forecast and is keeping his options open.
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 has not raced since winning by 25 lengths at Plumpton in February, having shortly afterwards met with a condylar fracture in the lead up to Cheltenham, for which he was a major fancy for the Racing Post Arkle chase.
He had impressed in three previous front-running wins, 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 said: “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.”