Un De Sceaux tops 18 still in Ryanair Chase reckoning

Fri 10 Mar 2017

Ante-post favourite Un De Sceaux is one of 18 confirmations for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on Thursday.

Winner of the Arkle two years ago, he had no answer to Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase last season and will step up in trip this time.

Unbeaten in two starts this term - the Tingle Creek and the rearranged Clarence House Chase - his connections are praying for rain.

"We found out a lot about him last time," part-owner Colm O'Connell told At The Races.

"He had to go to Ascot on the Thursday, that was off so he came home on the Saturday to Carlow, then he went back to Cheltenham.

"That was a lot of travelling so it was an incredible performance to put up after that, 40 hours in the back of a trailer and then run a race.

"He takes it all in his stride now, he's settling down a lot more.

"The ground will play a huge factor in how he gets on. It's good to soft and I don't think there's too much rain forecast.

"I'm sure Michael O'Leary (chief executive of Ryanair and owner of Gigginstown House Stud) would like to get his money back for sponsoring the race so Empire Of Dirt and Sub Lieutenant have to be feared, along with Uxizandre."

Un De Sceaux's trainer Willie Mullins has also left in in Douvan and Vroum Vroum Mag.

Josses Hill and Vaniteux are Nicky Henderson's representatives, with Village Vic left in by Philip Hobbs.

God's Own, Alary, Fox Norton, Irish Cavalier and Zabana add further strength in depth.

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