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2021 Clarence House Chase Tips - Patient tactics could pay off for Jefferson at Ascot

  • We preview the 2021 Clarence House Chase and provide readers with our tips
  • The Clarence House is the feature Grade One at Ascot on Saturday 23rd January
  • Politologue heads the betting, ahead of Waiting Patiently and Defi Du Seuil
  • Waiting Patiently is our best bet at 5/2
waiting patiently ascot
Brian Hughes riding Waiting Patiently (right) clear to win the 2018 Ascot Chase. (Getty)

Ascot stages one of the biggest races of the season this weekend, as a stellar cast assembles for the 2021 Clarence House Chase. This Grade One is often used as a stepping stone towards the Champion Chase, and three of the sport's highest-rated chasers will clash live on ITV Racing this Saturday.

2021 Clarence House Chase Odds


Name
Best Odds
PolitologueEvens
Waiting Patiently5/2
Defi Du Seuil7/2
First Flow10/1
Duc Des Genievres10/1
Fanion D'Estruval10/1
Bar12/1

*Odds taken from Betfair on 22/1/21*

2021 Clarence House Chase Runners



After Altior's defeat at Kempton, Politologue is now the joint-highest rated two-mile chaser in Britain. Paul Nicholls' charge claimed a famous victory in the Champion Chase in March, and followed up with a superb front-running victory in the Tingle Creek on his reappearance.

With Chacun Pour Soi and Altior out of the picture, Defi Du Seuil was expected to win the 2021 Champion Chase. However, it was clear from the outset that Barry Geraghty's mount was never travelling and the 2/5 favourite could only finish fourth. 

Philip Hobbs charge put in an equally dismal display on his reappearance in the Shloer Chase, where he jumped the first two fences big and never recovered his rhythm. Three months and more than a couple of sleepless nights later, Hobbs sends his stable star back to Ascot, the scene of his last Grade One victory 12 months ago.

Splitting the top two in the market we find Waiting Patiently, who made excellent late progress to finish closest to Frodon in the King George. Ruth Jefferson's star produced a similar fast-finishing display to finish third in the 2019 Tingle Creek on his last two-mile start, and has to be respected dropping back down in trip.

Duc Des Genievres has finished second in the Shloer Chase and third in the Desert Orchid since moving to Paul Nicholls' yard. Daryl Jacob's mount will likely accompany Politologue at the head of affairs, but I can't see him sustaining a meaningful challenge.

Fanion D'Estruval is the youngest runner in the field. There hasn't been a six-year-old winner of the Clarence House since it was upgraded from a handicap to a Grade One and, while Venetia Williams' charge remains open to further improvement, he didn't jump at all well on his only previous start going right-handed in last year's Wayward Lad.

David Bass will be looking to seal a sixth win on the bounce with First Flow, who's improved 16 pounds in the course of his winning run. Kim Bailey's charge ran up to an RPR of 160 when winning here at Ascot in November, and will relish the prospect of testing ground. Yet, the three at the head of the betting have all run up to marks in the 170s on soft ground, so First Flow still has to find ten pounds of improvement from somewhere.

Impact Factor will also be making his first start in a Graded race over fences on Saturday, and I don't see any reason why he could challenge for the win. Le Patriote has been beaten a combined 92 lengths over his last five starts in Graded races, and I can't see Benatar having the speed or quality to get involved.

Bun Doran might appeal at an each-way price, had he brought better form with him to Ascot. Tom George's ten-year-old hasn't jumped as well as he can do since falling early in last year's Game Spirit Chase, and there are signs he could be on the decline.

tingle creek
Politologue heads the betting after winning the Tingle Creek, but the favourite could be vulnerable. (Getty)

2021 Clarence House Chase Tips

While he's clearly a very admirable horse, you can knock Politologue's recent achievements. Paul Nicholls' ten-year-old was fortunate that the big guns never showed up in last year's Champion Chase. 

At Sandown, Politologue beat Greaneteen, who's 11-pounds his inferior at the weights, and Rouge Vif, who's never at his best on soft ground.

Defi Du Seuil beat Politologue in both the Shloer Chase and the Tingle Creek last season. If back to the top of his game, you'd fancy Philip Hobbs' star to get the better of Politologue again. However, his two most recent starts are extremely off-putting. Right now, I'd rather back Defi Du Seuil to win the 2021 Champion Chase than to win at Ascot on Saturday.

This leaves me with WAITING PATIENTLY, who really caught the eye behind Frodon at Kempton. Ruth Jefferson's ten-year-old was very keen at the rear on his reappearance. Brian Hughes moved his mount into contention jumping the third-last, and powered past Santini, Clan Des Obeaux and Saint Calvados on the run to the line.

Jumping the last in the 2019 Tingle Creek, Waiting Patiently sat six or seven lengths adrift of Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux, but really picked up on the flat and was only beaten a length in the end. If he'd been able to match the top two for jumping over the final three flights, he would probably have won.

We known Waiting Patiently goes well around Ascot, being a former Ascot Chase winner. Hughes' mount has finished ahead of Politologue a couple of times in the past and, if he has the leader in his crosshairs jumping the last, he possesses a finishing kick which could win him the Clarence House.
US

Verdict

Politologue is too classy to be completely ruled out, and Defi Du Seuil cannot be written off. I just feel, with a couple of question marks against the top two, that this is the perfect time for Waiting Patiently to announce his Champion Chase credentials.

2021 Clarence House Chase Tips: Waiting Patiently Straight Win @250.00 at BetMGM - 20 Units

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