Monet’s Garden may go to Cheltenham without another run after being taken out of both his engagements tomorrow.
The prospect of testing ground prompted trainer Nicky Richards to withdraw the grey from the Racing Post 20 Years of Service Pendil Novices’ Chase at Sandown and the totesport 0800 221 221 Novices’ Chase at Newcastle.
Richards said: “The ground will be all wrong for him tomorrow and although we are getting quite close to Cheltenham, I shall have a look through the programme book and see if I can find another race for him.
“If I can’t, he’ll go straight there and it shouldn’t be a problem getting him fit at home as he’s a very straightforward horse in that sense.”
In his absence a field of six will turn out for the Grade Two contest over an extended two and a half miles.
They include Napolitain, who took advantage of Turpin Green, a stablemate of Monet’s Garden, almost coming to a standstill at the final fence over this course and distance three weeks ago.
“Napolitain would have a chance in a competitive-looking novice chase. Obviously he got a bit lucky last time. He’s a lot fitter now,” his trainer Paul Nicholls told Teletext.
Taking on Nicholls’ charge are Bold Bishop, Gallant Approach, Big Moment, Roman Rampage and Lago d’Oro.