Noland facing crucial outing

NOLAND may be retired if he puts in a second successive poor performance in the Aon Chase at Newbury today.

Owner John Hales has that prospect in mind should the 10-year-old fail to show a big improvement on his latest start at Cheltenham two weeks ago when he was pulled up by Tony McCoy.

“He was very disappointing at Cheltenham, he didn’t run any sort of a race,” said Hales.

“He had been off a long time and came back at Kempton on that day they had the bumper races for National Hunt horses and he was very impressive. Whether it was the bounce theory we don’t know but after the race at Cheltenham, AP McCoy said we should try him over three miles. That’s what we are doing.

“If he puts in as bad a performance as he did at Cheltenham I think we’ll retire him.”

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