Defi Du SeuilAndrew Mount takes us through the Clarence House Chase and looks at the key stats and trends that should be focused on as we pinpoint the likely winners.

OVERVIEW

This meeting was abandoned in 2013 and 2017, with the race run at Cheltenham instead.

RECENT FORM

Eight of the last ten winners had won on their latest start, one had finished fourth and the other fell. Seven of the winners ran in a Grade 1 chase last time out, the other three contested a Grade 2.

RUNNING STYLE

Seven winners raced prominently, two made the running and only one (from a sample of 27) was described as ‘held up’. Horses who were ridden patiently in their prep race had a 0-20 record.

MARKET POSITION

Typically for a Grade 1 contest, those at the head of the market dominated. Eight winners were favourite, the others were 7-2 (second favourite) and 9-2 (third favourite).

Backing last-time out Grade 1 or Grade 2 chase winners would have found the winner eight times from 16 bets, though we’d have made a loss of £0.33 to a £1 level stake at SP.

MAIN CONTENDERS

POLITOLOGUE

The market is headed by POLITOLOGUE, who comfortably landed the Tingle Creek Chase on his reappearance. The Paul Nicholls-trained ten-year-old seems much happier with gaps between his races, that seven-length romp taking his record when rested for at least six weeks (for his current trainer only) to U111214211 (6-10). He arrives here off the back of a 47-day break and is likely to prove hard to beat.


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WAITING PATIENTLY

Ran a stormer to finish second to Frodon in the King George on his comeback, has been supplemented for this. He was only beaten by a length when third to Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux in the 2019 Tingle Creek when last trying this sort of trip but he’s now lost five on the bounce and another strong finish into a place looks the likeliest scenario.


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DEFI DU SEUIL

Last year’s winner DEFI DU SEUIL reportedly ‘stopped quickly’ when pulled up in the Cheltenham mud on his reappearance. He ended last season on a similar low - trailing home fourth to Politologue when 2-5 favourite for the Champion Chase - and is hard to support at around the 7-2 mark.


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FIRST FLOW

On a six-timer and impressed with his attitude when scoring by a neck over course and distance on his reappearance, grinding it out despite some shoddy jumps. His jumping was again not foot-perfect at Wetherby last time and the form of the Kim Bailey hard is a slight concern.


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FANION D’ESTRUVAL

Hasn’t built on his impressive British debut when sauntering home in novice handicap chase company at Newbury early last season but has had excuses. A patient ride was no help when favourite for the Grade 2 Wayward Lad at Kempton next time and he again came form further back than ideal when runner-up at Cheltenham on his reappearance before falling at the same venue when upped to 2m4f last month. His patient style is the obvious concern but a clear round could see him keep on into a place.


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BUN DORAN

,Signed off last term with a 13-length 33-1 third to Politologue in the Champion Chase, has disappointed in both runs this season, trailing home a 40-length seventh in the Haldon Gold Cup before a modest fifth in the rearranged Peterborough Chase. However, this is the first time he’s had two miles in the mud since that Cheltenham festival third and he’s one of the more appealing each-way angles.


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VERDICT:

Tingle Creek winner Politologue has obvious claims of following up but makes limited appeal at current odds. With Waiting Patiently’s come-from-behind style likely to leave him vulnerable the angle might be to oppose him in the ‘without Politologue’ market. Defi Du Seuil has now bombed out twice in a row at very short odds, so BUN DORAN might offer a spot of value.