Clarence House Chase Hat-trick for Un De Sceaux?
Un De Sceaux returns to Ascot on Saturday aiming for a third consecutive Clarence House Chase victory.
This will make him the most successful horse in the race since it began in 1989. Currently he holds the record with Master Minded who won the race on 2 occasions in 2009 and 2011.
Willie Mullins is also looking to emulate Paul Nicholls hat-trick of victories between 2009 and 2011 with Twist Magic also winning in between Master Minded’s 2 wins.
Last year the Clarence House Chase was ran at Cheltenham due to the original meeting being abandoned at Ascot due to frost.
In 2016 Un De Sceaux led from the front and won impressively by 5l from Sire De Grugy and Traffic Fluide.
In 2017 he let Noel Fehily and Special Tiara do the legwork up front and took it 4 from home. Again he won by 5l. This time from Uxizandre and Barry Geraghty.
The field this time does not look as strong as previous years. In fact to me it looks a match race between UN DE SCEAUX and BRAIN POWER.
I believe that the experience and class of Un De Sceaux will be enough to see him home to claim a record breaking third Clarence House Chase. The ground is expected to be soft.
Hopefully this will also work in his favour as his seasonal reappearance showed him to be in good form. Although how much can be read into an eased up 25l victory?
Clarence House Chase Contenders?
The major rival to Un De Sceaux appears to be the Nicky Henderson trained BRAIN POWER.
His first run over the larger obstacles was very impressive culminating in a 28l victory. Worth noting is that no horse in that race has gone on to record anything of note.
However his 2nd appearance showed his inexperience. He unseated his rider when pressured at the last having already made mistakes at various fences.
I feel that if Un De Sceaux gets after him early enough and puts pressure on him then his jumping will be scrutinised and he will be found wanting. However if he is given an easy start and allowed to build confidence then he is potentially quicker between the fences and may well give Un De Sceaux a scare if they are level at the last fence.
SAN BENEDETO and SPEREDEK I think are both slightly outclassed here and I genuinely can only see them winning if the front 2 fall or have an absolute nightmare.
KYLEMORE LOUGH makes up the field. He did not win a race last season. However when with Kerry Lee in 2016 he did win a Grade 1 race (RyanAir Gold Cup).
Since joining Harry Fry he has struggle to recapture that form. Hi seasonal reappearance saw him pulled up when he was favourite for the race so this may be a horse worth watching on this occasion.
Tip of the Day
My Clarence House Chase Tip is UN DE SCEAUX to make history and claim his 3rd.
Generally available at 4/7 with most bookmakers