Who will win the Clarence House Chase at Ascot? Our experts have their say
Saturday's Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase at Ascot promises to be a belter, with leading fancies Politologue, Defi Du Seuil and Waiting Patiently all declared on Thursday morning. Three of our writers give their verdict on the potential outcome of the race . . .
Great grey can produce another golden effort
Paul Nicholls' handling of Politologue was one of the training performances of last season and it must be a sign of the grey's wellbeing the trainer is prepared to run him again before Cheltenham.
Going from the Tingle Creek to the Champion Chase last term was an inspired move, but Nicholls quickly nominated the Clarence House as a stepping stone from Sandown last month – perhaps an indication he thinks he can unlock even more star performances from the top chaser.
No yard has won Saturday's Grade 1 more times than Nicholls' powerful Ditcheat stable, which continues to excel, while Harry Cobden replacing Harry Skelton aboard the ten-year-old should not be a problem.
James Burn, Lambourn correspondent
His rivals are going to struggle to peg him back from the front
Only three pounds cover Politologue, Defi Du Seuil and Waiting Patiently on official figures but considering current form and the conditions of Saturday's race, it is hard to see past Politologue winning a fifth Grade 1 over fences.
While it is possible to pick holes in the form of his Champion Chase and Tingle Creek wins, it was the manner Politologue went about his business in those two races that impressed most.
He looked like a horse enjoying life and on the top of his game and his career-high official rating of 169 supports that view. If he's in similar form on Saturday, his rivals are going to struggle to peg him back from the front.
Defi Du Seuil was majestic in this race last season and has beaten Politologue comprehensively in the past but his current form is a big concern and Waiting Patiently off a good run in the King George could be the biggest danger, although an extra half mile would arguably have been preferable.
Lewis Porteous, reporter
He might not get a better chance to win a Grade 1
Politologue will win this easily if he can reproduce the form he has shown when landing the Champion Chase and Tingle Creek on his last two starts, but both those efforts came after long breaks and most of his best recent form has come when fresh.
Will 49 days off be long enough? I wouldn't want to back him at a short price with that doubt hanging over him.
Waiting Patiently is definitely a better horse over further and Defi Du Seuil has put in two abysmal performances on his last two runs. He needs a major revival and both are vulnerable.
Maybe First Flow could spring a surprise. He needs to improve in the region of 8lb to 10lb, but comes here chasing a six-timer and one of his best performances came over course and distance in November when he landed a competitive handicap off a mark of 148.
Testing ground suits First Flow and he might not get a better chance to win a Grade 1.
Graeme Rodway, tipster
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