Clarence House Chase – preview

The highlight of Saturday’s schedule is the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Only five horses remain in the Grade 1 feature, which has featured an impressive list of winners in previous years.

Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy and Dodging Bullets all went on to record victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival after winning the Clarence House Chase in the same year from 2013-15.

For the last two years, the race has been dominated by Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux, who is once again a strong favourite for this year’s renewal.

He was in scintillating form to win by 25 lengths on his return to action at Cork last month and clearly looks the one to beat with the ground likely to suit.

Nicky Henderson’s Brain Power is set to be the main challenger and clearly has the potential to be a consistent contender at this level and beyond.

The seven-year-old impressed in his win at Kempton in November, but unseated in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase the following month. He may not have the experience of Un De Sceaux but time will tell if he can replicate his previous hurdles form.

San Benedeto is a former Grade 1 winner, after landing the Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in 2017, and is another who will be suited by the conditions.

Former Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase winner Kylemore Lough was pulled-up in the BetVictor Gold Cup back in November and has not won since March 2016, whilst outsider Speredek has won five in six ahead of what is a big step up.

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