Gary Moore hopeful of Ar Mad return before the end of the season

Sat 18 Feb 2017

Gary Moore remains optimistic Ar Mad will be back in time for a potential tilt atthe Celebration Chase at Sandown on the final day of the season.

Having ruled the seven-year-old out of the Cheltenham Festival for the second year running through injury, the Lower Beeding handler has stressedthe Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree is also now likely to come too soon.

Despite facing up to the possibility of being without the Ashley Head-owned gelding for Britain's two major Festivals, Moore believes the Grade One at the Esher course on April 29 or a trip to the Punchestown Festival still remain realistic targets.

Moore said: "I am hoping to get Ar Mad back for either Punchestown or the Celebration Chase at Sandown. I'd say that Aintree is likely to be out for him.

"It is disappointing that he has suffered another injury, but you come to expect it with horses."

Plans are in place to drop impressive Fontwell scorer Benatar back down in class on his next start after he was only fourth upped to Listed company at Huntingdon.

Moore added: "I don't think he was at his best in the Sidney Banks. I do like him a lot, but I don't know where I go next. We will just find a small race somewhere.

"He will run in early March, but he is a little bit ground dependent and he does want plenty of give in the ground. He is next year's horse."

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