No Douvan this weekend as Fox Norton heads Tingle Creek seven

Thu 7 Dec 2017

By staff

Douvan will not be seen at all this weekend after his name failed to appear in the final declarations to the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old drifted in the ante-post betting for the two-mile Grade One on Wednesday and did not appear among the declarations on Thursday morning. In contrast, Fox Norton was cut relentlessly by bookmakers on Wednesday before they eventually suspended.

Douvan still holds entries in Sunday's John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase and the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on the same afternoon but will not take up those engagements.

Mullins has also not declared last season's Tingle Creek hero Un De Sceaux. He, too, is entered in the John Durkan and the Hilly Way.

"Douvan worked very well at the Curragh on Tuesday," Mullins said on Thursday.

Douvan at Cork Douvan was trading at 11-8 on Wednesday for the Tingle Creek, having previously been odds-on (PA)

"He cantered yesterday. He did another little bit early this morning and I wasn't entirely happy with him."

The County Carlow trainer added in comments published by the Racing Post: "Maybe he hadn't fully recovered from what he did on Tuesday and I decided not to declare him for Sandown.

"He's in the John Durkan at Punchestown on Sunday and the Hilly Way at Cork on the same day but he won't be running this weekend and we'll wait a bit longer before making a plan.

"Un De Sceaux is likely to have his first run of the season in the Hilly Way, while the John Durkan remains the plan for Djakadam."

Just four runners were initially declared for the Sandown feature, but that number was boosted to seven after the race was reopened.

The Colin Tizzard-trained Fox Norton, who was only narrowly beaten by Special Tiara in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last season before striking Grade One gold at both Aintree and Punchestown, is the 4-6 favourite with BetVictor, Coral and Ladbrokes after making an impressive reappearance in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November.

Gary Moore's Ar Mad ran a fine race in last year's Tingle Creek to finish fourth, but needs to bounce back from a disappointing comeback in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

Politologue, the Haldon Gold Cup winner, is one of two runners for Paul Nicholls along with San Benedeto, while Sir Valentino represents Tom George's stable.

Kim Bailey's Charbel and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Ordinary World complete the line-up.

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