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Altior misses Clarence House for Newbury as five are left in Ascot Grade 1

Altior: ground is not considered suitable for Henderson star
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Dual Champion Chase winner Altior was a notable omission at Monday's confirmation stage for Saturday's Grade 1 Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot, with trainer Nicky Henderson opting to wait for Newbury's Betfair Exchange Chase next month.

Henderson said: "He's fine but I spoke to [owner] Pat Pugh and [Ascot clerk of the course] Chris Stickels this morning and there was no point in leaving him in because Un De Sceaux will love the ground. When Un De Sceaux loves it, you know Altior hates it.

"We've got a very wet week coming up unfortunately so we're just going to wait for the Game Spirit. The timing's perfect and we did it this way the year of his wind op. That year we went straight Newbury and then Cheltenham and we will do the same again I hope."

Henderson has left Janika in at the five-day stage, with Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux the star names to feature among five remaining entries for the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday. Capeland and Marracudja round out the possible field for the race. 

Coral make Defi Du Seuil their 4-6 favourite to confirm Sandown superiority over Un De Sceaux, who is priced at 13-8.

Henderson is also responsible for two of the nine entries for The New One Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock on the same day, with International Hurdle winner Call Me Lord and last year's JCB Triumph hero Pentland Hills appearing in Monday's entry list. 

"I'm trying to run Pentland Hills but I'm not sure about Call Me Lord," said Henderson. "It's going to be very testing everywhere."

Ballyandy - who finished a narrow runner-up to Call Me Lord at Cheltenham - is also among the possibles for the Grade 2 conteest run to commemorate the four-time winner of the race.

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There was no point in leaving him in because Un De Sceaux will love the ground. When Un De Sceaux loves it, you know Altior hates it
E.W. Terms