The Turf season isn't over just yet but the Jumps game will be coming to most peoples minds over the coming weeks and a potential highlight of the season became a possibility today. Lets hope Father Christmas comes up trumps as this would be a great race and I have the tickets safe and sound for the day already ;o)
Connections of Un De Sceaux would relish a potential clash with Altior in the Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown. The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old has won 16 races for Edward O'Connell and his family since arriving from France in 2013. He enjoyed another excellent campaign last season, winning the Tingle Creek and the rescheduled Clarence House at Cheltenham in January before returning to Prestbury Park for the Festival in March to land the Ryanair Chase. Connections will leave all running plans to Mullins, but are open to the idea of seeing Un De Sceaux defend his Tingle Creek crown against Nicky Henderson's unbeaten chaser Altior on 9th December.
Colm O'Connell, son of the owner, told Press Association Sport: " Un De Sceaux is in great form. He had a great summer and looks a million dollars. No screws have been turned at this stage and I wouldn't like to second guess Willie where he'll start him off. Last year he went to the Tingle Creek, the Clarence House and the Ryanair. I suppose the Clarence House would be pretty high on our agenda again as he's won it the last two years and no horse has ever won it three times. It would be nice to see him defend his crown in the Tingle Creek. He'd probably be up against Altior, who looks a superstar, but Un De Sceaux on soft ground around places like Sandown and Ascot takes a bit of beating. I'm not sure if I owned another horse I'd want him to run against Un De Sceaux first time out. Whatever runs against him, you know they'll have a hard race."
Even if Un De Sceaux does not make the journey to Sandown, he looks sure to be seen in action on British soil at some stage this season.
"For whatever reason, when Un De Sceaux crosses that Irish Sea, he turns into a different horse. He seems to thrive on the travelling," O'Connell added. "Because of that we like to see the horse running in England and France and when you go to places like Cheltenham the management team there look after you so well. Willie obviously has Douvan coming back and then there are horses like Yorkhill and Great Field, so he has a lot of very good horses for two- and two-and-a-half-mile chases. As well as being a great trainer, placing these horses is an art in itself and we'll always leave it up to him."