Clarence House Chase (Ascot) Betting Tips & Preview – Saturday 20th January 2018

The two mile, one furlong Clarence House Chase returns to Ascot this Saturday with five runners declared for the Grade 1 event. There are thirteen fences to be tackled and the race is expected to take place on soft ground.

Keep your eye on the winner of this race to see if they feature in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in two months’ time at the Cheltenham Festival. Six horses have done the double in the same season including three since 2013, Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy and Dodging Bullets.

Past Winners/Top Jockeys and Trainers

Two time champion Un De Sceaux returns to Ascot looking for a record-breaking third victory in this race.

  1. 2017 – Un De Sceaux, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
  2. 2016 – Un De Sceaux, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
  3. 2015 – Dodging Bullets, ridden by Noel Fehily, trained by Paul Nicholls
  4. 2014 – Sire de Grugy, ridden by Jamie Moore, trained by Gary Moore
  5. 2013 – Sprinter Sacre, ridden by Barry Geraghty, trained by Nicky Henderson

Betting Tips

Having won this race twice already, it’s not much of a surprise to see that Un De Sceaux leads the field, his best price available at 4/5 with Coral. The Willie Mullins horse enjoyed plenty of success last season, winning this race along with the Tingle Creek Chase and Ryanair Chase. The 10-year-old began this season on a similarly impressive footing, winning the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase by a 25 length margin. It’s clear that he still has plenty to offer and the soft going expected at Ascot should be just to his liking.

The favourite must be aware of the danger than Brain Power carries though. At 11/4 with Betfred he’s fancied to be a real threat here, helped by the fact that Nicky Henderson is in a superb patch of form just lately. The seven-year-old only made his chase debut in November, jumping well for much of the race at Kempton although going a little too close on a couple of occasions. Disaster struck last time out at Sandown though when unseating David Mullins after barely leaping for the last fence. It is hoped a change in jockey may help the bay gelding but Ascot is far from a forgiving chase course.

Kylemore Lough (12/1 with BetVictor) was pulled up on his seasonal debut, not what Harry Fry would have wanted to see after acquiring the horse just a month prior. He was the 4/1 favourite for the Gold Cup Handicap Chase but tailed off about three fences from the line so a shorter trip here should be to his benefit. Form is no concern for Speredek (25/1 with BetVictor) who has won five of his last six races but having never raced at a higher standard than Class 2, this is by far his most challenging race to date. His strong showings at lower level suggest a step up is due but it’s very hard to see him pushing for the win in this race.

Conclusion

Brain Power could well develop into a fine chaser but concerns surrounding his jumping ability now mean he has to be avoided in favour of Un De Sceaux. For longer odds, Kylemore Lough can be backed for a placed finish with this test looking likely to suit.

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