Surprise entry from King George VI runner-up Waiting Patiently adds extra spice to Clarence House ChaseJanuary 18th, 2021
The Clarence House Chase clash between Champion Chase winner Politologue and the race’s beaten favourite Defi Du Seuil at Ascot on Saturday was given extra spice by a surprise supplementary entry on Monday.
Top northern chaser Waiting Patiently, runner-up in the three-mile King George VI chase on Boxing Day, has been added for £6,250 for just a second try at a much shorter trip.
The 10-year-old, trained by Ruth Jefferson, has under a length to find with Defi Du Seuil from the 2019 Tingle Creek, in which Politologue was only fifth.
The official handicapper has only two pounds between the three of them going into the Matchbook-sponsored Grade One over two miles and a furlong.
A month after Cheltenham Stayers’ Hurdle flop Paisley Park edged out Thyme Hill in an engrossing Long Walk Hurdle, Saturday is ready to produce another memorable Ascot contest.
Defi Du Seuil will be playing the Paisley Park role, having also disappointed when favourite at last year’s Cheltenham festival behind Politologue but has even more to prove after another tame effort at Cheltenham in November.
The eight-year-old was given a thorough overhaul but trainer Philip Hobbs said: “Extensive tests showed nothing. He schooled on Monday morning and I’m very happy with everything he has done so hopefully he will get back on track on Saturday.”
Ascot has also announced the five-day royal meeting in June will feature seven races each day after the positive reaction across the industry to last year’s pandemic-prompted changes.
While the consolation Royal Hunt Cup and Wokingham races are not retained, there is one new race added to last year’s other additions.
That is the Kensington Palace Stakes, a new handicap for four-year-old and upwards fillies and mares, which will be only one of three royal races run on the round mile course.
Haydock rivals Ascot for intrigue on Saturday with the return of dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air in the Grade 2 New One Unibet Hurdle.
The 10-year-old, subject of a glowing gallop report from trainer Nicky Henderson last week, will face no more than four rivals in his first race since losing a chunk of his hoof after being staked in the foot in the 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Trainer Tom Symonds is ready to take him on with Song For Someone, who pipped Champion Hurdle winner Epatante’s Christmas Hurdle conqueror Silver Streak in Cheltenham’s International Hurdle last month.
Dame de Compagnie, last seen winning last year’s Coral Cup at Cheltenham under Barry Geraghty, made a winning start over fences at Ayr on Monday in a match with Cornerstone Lad, who beat Buveur D’Air in the Fighting Fifth.