Politologue tops 12 entries for Clarence House Chase
Last year’s winner Defi Du Seuil could defend his Ascot crown.Politologue heads 12 entries for the Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 23. The Paul Nicholls-trained grey won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March and took the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on his reappearance last month. Nicholls is also represented by Duc De Genievres, who has been placed in the Shloer Chase and Desert Orchid Chase since his move from Willie Mullins. Jessica Harrington provides the two Irish-trained possibles in Impact Factor and Sizing Pottsie, who both won handicap chases at Fairyhouse on their latest starts. Last year’s winner Defi Du Seuil could return to action for the first time since his disappointing run in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on November. The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding was pulled up before the last fence when beaten. Nothing came to light and the eight-year-old has either the Clarence House or the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury next month as the target for his comeback race. “He seems fine. He didn’t perform on the day for some reason, but nothing showed up,” said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus. “He’s had a bit of a break and hopefully he’ll be back in time for that (Ascot). He has an entry, but we’ll know nearer the time how he is. “He has the Game Spirit as his other option.” The Kim Bailey-trained First Flow, winner of his last five races, could be given this Grade One opportunity. Completing the list are Benator, Bun Doran, Esprit Du Large, Fanion D’Estruval, Le Patriote and Riders Onthe Storm.
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