Un De Sceaux faces four rivals in quest for Clarence House hat-trick

Thu 18 Jan 2018
2017 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Un De Sceaux seeks a slice of history at Ascot on Saturday (PA)

By staff

Un De Sceaux will face just four rivals as he bids for a third successive victory in the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

Willie Mullins' raider won the event when it was run at Cheltenham last year and victory would see him become the first triple winner of the race. He is 4-7 with most bookmakers.

In his weekly column, Ruby Walsh gave a positive bulletin on he 10-year-old, saying: "He is in super form – he worked really well on Tuesday morning. He is in really good form at the moment and his comeback run in the Hilly Way he destroyed horses.

"People say he is tough on the racecourse but his enthusiasm for exercise, his enthusiasm for racing – he is incredible.

"It was very wet for the last couple of days here and the gallop was quite testing on Tuesday morning and just watching him plough through it – he just loves it.

"He is always going forward and anxious to get on with it. He is not a hot horse that sweats he just likes to get going on the gallops and is a joy to watch."

Nicky Henderson's Brain Power, a general 11-4 having been 8-1 at the start of the week, leads the opposition.

Henderson told at Newbury on Wednesday that running the novice was probably "a mad thing to do" but the trainer believes the likely strong pace of the race will play to Brain Power's strengths.

Nigel Hawke's Speredek, ageneral 25-1, takes a huge leap in company after winning five of his last six handicap starts, while Paul Nicholls fields San Benedeto (20-1), who was last of five finishers in the Tingle Creek on his most recent outing.

The Harry Fry-trained Kylemore Lough, a Grade One winner for Kerry Lee in 2016, completes the field as he tries to bounce back from a disappointing reappearance at Cheltenham in November. He is 12-1.

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