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Fox Norton primed for Douvan clash
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Fox Norton primed for Douvan clash
on 04 December 2017
The Betfair Tingle Creek has been the plan for Fox Norton since the end of last season and connections are relishing the match-up

Connections of Fox Norton are looking forward to taking on Douvan in the Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown on Saturday.

The pair are among 11 entries for the Grade 1 Chase over two miles, which is usually one of the highlights of the season.

Willie Mullins' remarkable Douvan won his first 13 races after leaving France, including successive victories at the Cheltenham Festival in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Arkle Trophy.

He was unbeaten in his first nine appearances over fences, but returned injured after suffering a shock defeat in last season's Queen Mother Champion Chase in March and is set to make his first competitive start since.

Mullins has also entered last year's winner Un De Sceaux, but providing Douvan does make the trip across the Irish Sea, he is more likely to remain on home soil to contest Sunday's Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

Henry de Bromhead is doubly represented, with reigning Champion Chase hero Special Tiara joined by stablemate Ordinary World.

The Colin Tizzard-trained Fox Norton looked better than ever when comfortably reversing Champion Chase form with Special Tiara in last month's Shloer Chase at Cheltenham and he is also in the mix.

Tizzard's son and assistant Joe said: "The Betfair Tingle Creek has been the plan for Fox Norton since the end of last season.

"We had a lovely run on his reappearance at Cheltenham, when he was mightily impressive.

"It will be interesting to see if Douvan comes over or not but we are looking forward to the challenge.

"Bryan Cooper will be riding him again. Fox Norton will do a piece of work tomorrow (Tuesday) and then he will be build up into Saturday's race."

Paul Nicholls has claimed the Tingle Creek on a record nine occasions, with National Hunt greats Kauto Star and Master Minded both dual winners.

This year the Ditcheat maestro could call upon one or both of last month's Haldon Gold Cup one-two Politologue and San Benedeto.

"Politologue will run in the Betfair Tingle Creek, whereas San Benedeto is more likely to go for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on Sunday," said Nicholls.

Gary Moore's Ar Mad, Kim Bailey's Charbel, the Tom George-trained Sir Valentino and Top Gamble from Kerry Lee's yard complete the list.

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