Ruby Walsh has not ruled out Un De Sceaux making a return to trip to Britain on his next start to defend his crown in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old got his career over fences back on track on after gaining a fifth Grade One success with victory in the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Although the Closutton-handler earmarked the Paddy Power Cashcard Chase at Leopardstown later this month as the most likely target for Un De Sceaux, Walsh feels that a trip to Ascot to contest the Grade One prize on January 21 could be a more suitable option.
Walsh said: “I’m sure he is entered at Christmas. He had a plenty hard enough race for his first run of the season and whether he turns out that quick only time will tell.
“He won at Ascot last year and I’m sure going back there wouldn’t be out of the question.
“We know he gets further so stepping up in trip won’t be a problem but ground will be the deciding factor in that.”
Meanwhile The New One, a two-times winner of the stanjames.com International Hurdle, is among 10 entries for the Grade Two contest at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The eight-year-old, successful in 2013 and 2014, was to have made his chasing debut at Exeter last week.
However, when that meeting was lost to the weather, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies named this race as a possible starting point.
Last year’s winner Old Guard features again for trainer Paul Nicholls, while Yanworth is a fascinating contender.
The Alan King-trained six-year-old was a top novice last term and got the campaign off to a winning start in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last month.
Yanworth’s owner JP McManus also has the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of My Tent Or Yours and Hargam.
Willie Mullins has put in Ivan Grozny, whose last two wins over jumps have both come at Tipperary. The six-year-old, owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, ran out a ready winner of the Istabraq Hurdle on his latest start.
There is a second Irish entry in Gordon Elliott’s Labaik, who refused to race in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Melodic Rendezvous, Court Minstrel and Mister Miyagi make up the 10 entries.
Henderson is looking forward to running both of his contenders at this stage.
“There is every possibility that both My Tent Or Yours and Hargam will run - that is the plan at the moment,” said the Seven Barrows handler.
“Good ground will help them both and looking at the forecast that is what I hope we will get.”
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