Saturday 22nd January, 3.00pm, Ascot
The big race taking place from Ascot tomorrow is the Sodexo Clarence House Chase, which is a Grade One held over two miles. There is a field of just five competing here, but it is of the highest quality.
The winner of this has gone onto win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in the last two years and Willie Mullins will be hoping Un De Sceaux will take this on route to Festival glory.
The Irish raider is currently a 4/7 shot to land the spoils and that’s not much of a surprise after he won the Arkle Chase in superb style last year.
However, he did fall on seasonal reappearance last season and his recent tumble wasn’t a heavy one, so he should be none the worse here.
The odds are short, but you’d think if this horse can produce his best kind of form he would take some serious beating. A convincing win is sure to see the gelding shorten for the Champion Chase.
Sire De Grugy will be the toughest opponent that the favourite has faced in his career though and Gary Moore’s charge is a 3/1 shot to take the spoils.
The ten-year-old has been back to his near best this season with win in the Tingle Creek Chase and then a second behind Sprinter Sacre at Kempton over Christmas time.
Sire De Grugy does have ideal conditions here and was a superb winner of the race two years ago, so has to have a big chance.
His jumping can be a little bit clumsy sometimes though and he can’t afford any mistakes in this one.
It’s then 12/1 about Vibrato Valtat, who is a superb horse, but just a little bit short of this kind of level you’d think. He’s been beaten by Sire De Grugy in his last two races and might find it tough to reverse the form.
Simply Ned is a 22/1 shot, with Traffic Fluide then at 25/1.
We think this is all about the favourite Un De Sceaux and getting involved with Paddy Power’s offer of 4/1 looks to be a cracking bet. Expect Ruby to go off in front here and the horse to enhance his Champion Chase claims.