The 2014 Cheltenham Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy is set to build his preparations for a potential run at the Festival next spring by making a return to Sandown for the Tingle Creek Chase.

It was a stretch too far for the 10-year-old on his seasonal debut earlier this month over the two and a half miles of Aintree’s Old Roan Handicap Chase.

In a field of seven the experienced runner finish back of the field, with Third Intention claiming the spoils.

Trainer Gary Moore has admitted it was a bit much to ask of Sire De Grugy at Aintree, but an outing at Sandown on December 3, potentially alongside stablemate Ar Mad, would be ideal for the veteran.

“He needed the run, but he didn’t get two and a half so he won’t be going down that route and will go straight to the Tingle Creek,” said Moore.

“He is all good. He looks fantastic. Ar Mad will also be going that way if he stays in one piece.”

Sire De Grugy won the Tingle Creek Chase in both 2013 and 2015, while in 2014 Balder Succes took the honours for trainer Alan King.

It was rival Sprinter Sacre who managed to claim the spoils in the Champion Chase earlier this year, when Sire De Grugy finished a disappointing eighth in the field of ten.

Sprinter Sacre is 3/1 to retain the title at Cheltenham in 2017, with Douvan the current Evens favourite to claim the win in March.

[adrotate group=”3″]

Odds subject to change.