Douvan to miss Saturday’s Tingle Creek at Sandown
Willie Mullins ‘not entirely happy’ with work on Thursday, return date yet to be decided
Douvan is to miss Saturday’s Tingle Creek at Sandown. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Douvan will not line up in the Betfair Tingle Creek 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.
He still holds entries in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase and the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on Sunday.
Mullins told the Racing Post: “Douvan worked very well at the Curragh on Tuesday. He cantered yesterday. He did another little bit early this morning and I wasn’t entirely happy with him.
“Maybe he hadn’t fully recovered from what he did on Tuesday and I decided not to declare him for Sandown. No decision has been made regarding when he will have his first run of the season.”
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.
Just four runners were initially declared 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, leads the way 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.