Douvan in mix for Tingle
Fairyhouse will play host to the major Irish racing this weekend with three Grade Ones scheduled for their Sunday card and the five-day forfeits for those races will close today, but so to will Saturday's Tingle Creek at Sandown after the race only attracted eight entries yesterday.
The Grade One contest was reopened for a further 24 hours after being due to close yesterday when the small entry was received for the two-miler and the other Grade One on Saturday's card at Sandown, the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, was also opened up to trainers again after it had just six acceptors.
Although the initial entries weren't officially released by the BHA yesterday, it is widely understood that Willie Mullins is responsible for two of the eight, with Douvan a possible runner for the first time this season.
Ireland's champion trainer is expected to have at least two of the potential runners when the entries are finally released in the next 24 hours, as Un De Sceaux is also priced up with the bookmakers.
Trainer Gary Moore is also likely to have two engagements for the Tingle Creek which he won last year with Sire De Grugy and the 10-year-old, who was victorious earlier in the month at Ascot, may bid for a third triumph in the race having won the 2013 renewal also.
Moore's other entry is the very talented Ar Mad, who hasn't been seen in racecourse action since February and was ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival through injury.
Ar Mad has been made the 2/1 joint favourite with bookmakers BoyleSports, alongside Un De Sceaux, with Douvan currently rated a 5/1 chance.
Ar Mad won the Grade One Henry VIII Novices' Chase on the card 12 months ago but his trainer is hoping that his first run of the campaign isn't as disappointing as it was last season.
Moore said: "He is as ready as I can get him at home, and he's a busy horse, so you would think he would get fitter quicker than some of the others, but last year he ran at Plumpton first time in a donkey race and ran badly. Everything went wrong that day though, so I hope it's not a reflection of what might happen first time out again this year."
Fresh from his historic six-timer at Navan on Sunday, Gordon Elliott is likely to be prominent with entries for Fairyhouse this weekend but on Saturday he is due to test the Grand National credentials of Ucello Conti, who was one of 33 entries for the Becher Chase at Aintree.
Elliott has also got Clarcam in the same race and Outlander and Roi Des Francs in the 3m2f listed chase.