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Published: 14:15 | 18/5/16

Un De Sceaux has French date

Un De Sceaux will revert to hurdles for Saturday's Prix La Barka at Auteuil.

Having won all 14 of his completed starts, Willie Mullins' charge was sent off the odds-on favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase but he was no match for Sprinter Sacre in the Cheltenham feature and was beaten by the same horse when the pair renewed rivalry in the Bet365 Celebration Chase.

Connections have decided to send him back over hurdles for his next start but there are concerns over his ability to handle the longer distance at Auteuil.

"He'll have his ground, which he didn't get at Cheltenham and Sandown, but we don't know if he'll stay an extended two-miles-five," said O'Connell.

"If he does, he'll have some fierce options next season.

"I think he'll stay. He won over an extended two-three there a couple of years ago and he definitely settles better now.

"These mini fences suit him perfectly, people had mentioned to us we should go back hurdling after his mistakes the other day."

As well as Un De Sceaux, Mullins could run Thousand Stars, while Nicky Henderson has entered Simonsig in the Grade Two. Other possibles include last year's winner Ballynagour from David Pipe's yard and Nick Williams' Aubusson.

Ptit Zig and Al Ferof could represent Paul Nicholls and Dan Skelton respectively and O'Connell knows Un De Sceaux faces some tough opposition.

"It looks a very hot race, and in Simonsig we've got Nicky Henderson to beat once again after Sprinter Sacre, but we're happy to be going," O'Connell added.

"He's bred to stay and if he gets bowling along in front, in the soft ground, he should be hard to peg back."

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