Sire De Grugy among eight Clarence House possibles
Sire De Grugy: won the Clarence House in 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images Moore leaves door ajar for Sire to run at Ascot
By James Burn 12:40AM 16 JAN 2017
GARY MOORE could be double-handed in Saturday's Berkshire Community Foundation Clarence House Chase at Ascot after Sire De Grugy and Ar Mad featured among eight confirmations for the £125,000 Grade 1.
Nicky Henderson's star novice Altior, a red-hot ante-post favourite for the Racing Post Arkle, was the only defector at the five-day stage.
Moore last week suggested Sire De Grugy, winner of the Champion Chase in 2014, would wait for Newbury's Game Spirit Chase next month. However, the trainer left the 11-year-old in the Clarence House on Monday and a gallop on Tuesday morning will likely determine if he lines up alongside stablemate Ar Mad.
Moore said on Monday: "I need to speak to Sire's owners. I need to gallop him in the morning and it might be coming too soon after he unseated at Kempton last time.
"I might give him a bit more time to come to himself, but I won't know until tomorrow."
The ante-post betting is headed by last year's winner Un De Sceaux, who is a top price of 4-5 with Betway. Willie Mullins' representative got the better of a thrilling tussle with Sire De Grugy to win the Tingle Creek last time, but bookmakers rate Ar Mad, who was an eyecatching fourth in that race, as his main danger on Saturday.
Ar Mad has been priced up as the 2-1 second favourite, while Sire De Grugy is an 8-1 chance.
Should Sire De Grugy run it may mean Moore's son Jamie rides him, instead of Ar Mad, the regular mount of another of the trainer's sons Josh, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury. However, Moore would not be drawn on jockey bookings.
Dodging Bullets, Eastlake, Royal Regatta and Top Gamble are the other possibles.
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