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Friday 9 December 2016

Special Tiara can rain on Tony McCoy's parade by denying the champion jockey the perfect send-off in the bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase at Sandown.

Special Tiara can rain on Tony McCoy's parade by denying the champion jockey the perfect send-off in the bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase at Sandown.

While McCoy's mount Mr Mole has progressed in leaps and bounds this season and fully deserves his crack at another Grade One, he has a lifeless display in the Champion Chase to overcome and would prefer softer ground.

A win for him would no doubt bring the house down, and nearly as popular would be a success for former champion Sprinter Sacre, but in the prevailing conditions neither may get to see which way Special Tiara goes.

Henry de Bromhead's spring-heeled jumper finished less than five lengths behind Sire De Grugy in this last year but the ground was on the soft side of good. With ease in the ground, his electric jumping is not as effective and while he won in soft at Kempton at Christmas, that form would still leave him with a bit to find in this company.

However, he took another step forward when he was still just about in front on jumping the last in the Queen Mother before fading into third.

He will be some sight to behold over the Railway Fences on this ground and will take all the beating.

It is rare these days for a horse to have the bet365 Gold Cup as a long-term aim given there are so many other options at this time of year but that has been the case for Le Reve.

Lucy Wadham's seven-year-old looks the ideal type for Aintree but the trainer felt it came just too soon in his development this season so he has been trained with this race in mind ever since winning at the track in January.

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