Clarence House Chase Date is Saturday, 23 January, 2021 (3:35)

Racecourse: Ascot

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase

Age Of The Horses: Five Years Old And Up

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Distance: 2 Miles And 167 Yards

2021 Winner: First Flow

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Page Contents

General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Offers & Promotions

Stats & Trends

Past Winners

Clarence House Chase Chase General Info

The Clarence House Chase is a Grade 1 steeplechase over about two miles run at Ascot in January about halfway between the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park and the Queen Mother Champion Chase during the Cheltenham Festival in the British National Hunt horse racing programme. Formerly a handicap sponsored by Victor Chandler bookmakers (better known today as BetVictor) from its inauguration in the late 1980s, it achieved its current status in 2007.

The Ascot Clarence House Chase roll of honour includes legendary two-milers Desert Orchid, Viking Flagship, Master Minded, Twist Magic, Sprinter Sacre, Sire De Grugy, Dodging Bullets, Altior and Un De Sceaux. That latter horse won a record three consecutive renewals of the race between 2016 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, it has been run as the Matchbook Clarence House Chase after the online betting exchange took over sponsoring this event from Royal Salute Whisky and regular Ascot partners Sodexo.

Ascot Racecourse

The Clarence House Chase & Queen Mother Champion Chase

As noted above the Clarence House Chase and Ascot are one of the final stepping stones on the road to the Cheltenham for Queen Mother Champion Chase hopefuls. In fact, since 2013, five winners have gone to enjoy success at the Festival and four of those in the big two-mile feature on Ladies Day.

While Un De Sceaux made a successful step up in trip to capture Ryanair Chase glory in 2017, the Matchbook Clarence House Chase has to be regarded as a key Cheltenham trial for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Altior (2019), Dodging Bullets (2015), Sire Du Grugy (2014) and Sprinter Sacre (2013) all did the double, and it’s clear that whoever wins at Ascot will be cut to do likewise at Cheltenham by the bookies as a result.

A statistic like that should not be lost on you when considering who to bet on come the Festival. There are other Queen Mother Champion Chase trials, including the aforementioned Tingle Creek at Sandown, Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park during Christmastime and Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February, but you should definitely pay attention to the Clarence House Chase 2021 result.

Clarence House Chase Runners & Tips

From the 12 early closing entries for the Clarence House Chase 2021, nine have been declared to run. One horse has been supplemented for the race at the penultimate declaration stage. Paul Nicholls, the leading trainer in Clarence House Chase history with five previous victories, is now the only handler with more than one horse entered this year. Here are the potential runners in 2021:

  1. Benatar (Gary Moore)
  2. Bun Doran (Tom George)
  3. Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs)
  4. Duc Des Genievres (Paul Nicholls)
  5. Fanion D’Estruval (Venetia Williams)
  6. First Flow (Kim Bailey)
  7. Impact Factor (Jessica Harrington, IRE)
  8. Le Patriote (Dr Richard Newland)
  9. Politologue (Paul Nicholls)
  10. Waiting Patiently (Ruth Jefferson)

2021 Clarence House Chase Tips

Politologue (5/4)

It has been six years since Nicholls last tasted Clarence House Chase Ascot glory, but Poltiologue sets a clear and obvious form standard with his wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Tingle Creek. The key to the John Hales owned grey seems to be freshness, so his campaign is rather obvious. Detractors of Politologue will say that he has only won Grade 1 races in open company over two miles when Altior hasn’t been among the opposition.

That is the case again here, so there is no reason to suppose the result will be any different. Politologue comes into a first-ever Clarence House Chase bid in far better form than Ditcheat stable companion Duc Des Genievres and tops the official ratings from the dozen early closing entries. Unless Defi Du Seuil bounces back after below par efforts, this race looks his to lose.

Defi Du Seuil (7/2)

As last year’s winner, Defi Du Seuil comes into the Clarence House Chase 2021 with a good chance if running up to that standard. The problem is that Phillip Hobbs and JP McManus’s eight-year-old hasn’t won since. Last minute injuries for Altior and Chacun Pour Soi left him long odds-on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last March and add to previous Festival success, but he just didn’t fire.

When returning to Prestbury Park for the Shloer Chase on reappearance in November, the same thing happened. Defi Du Seuil thus has some questions to answer. He has returned to form before after losing his way in the season after his dominance of the juvenile hurdle division. Defi Du Seuil may not even turn up for the Ascot Clarence House Chase if he isn’t more like his old self, so bettors should bare that in mind.

First Flow (10/1)

There aren’t many progressive challengers in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase this year, but First Flow is the only course and distance winner entered besides Defi Du Seuil. Trained by Kim Bailey who has had a fine season, the nine-year-old has never been out of the first three in 10 outings over fences and comes into this race after five victories in a row.

First Flow’s neck defeat of previous Listed winner Amoola Gold in the Hurst Park Handicap Chase here in November reads well. He has since followed-up over the festive period at Wetherby when landing the Castleford Chase. This is a big step up from those handicaps, but he has fully earned an official rating of 156. That only puts him fifth best on figures, but some of those with higher marks may be on the decline. First Flow could be the each-way betting value in the ante post betting.

Waiting Patiently (3/1)

We haven’t seen much of Waiting Patiently in recent times, but the decision to supplement the King George VI Chase runner-up is a previous Grade 1 winner at this course. That came in the 2018 Ascot Chase. Although Waiting Patiently has only had five races in almost three years since, that highlights how lightly-raced he is for a 10-year-old. This horse, regardless of the trip, seems to have the ability to stay on past other tiring rivals. Ruth Jefferson and her late father Malcolm have always thought a lot of Waiting Patiently, so a successful tilt at Clarence House Chase glory cannot be ruled out. Connections paid £5,000 to put him in the race and he must finish in the first four to cover that outlay, which he’s capable of.

2021 Ascot Clarence House Chase Betting Offers

As a Grade 1 race in its own right, you can expect to find Clarence House Chase offers from online bookmakers in the run-up to it. From specials combining who will win the Ascot feature and Queen Mother Champion Chase in a double, to best odds guaranteed on the day of the race, distance and match bets, and more, there is something to suit every punter here. Newbies will benefit from generous Cheltenham sign up offers for this or any other race too. Check out the latest Clarence House Chase Ascot offers below:

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Past Clarence House Chase Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2020 Defi Du Seuil 7 Barry Geraghty Philip Hobbs 4th in Champion Chase
2019 Altior 9 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Won Champion Chase
2018 Un De Sceaux 10 Paul Townend Willie Mullins 2nd in Ryanair Chase
2017 Un De Sceaux 9 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins Won Ryanair Chase
2016 Un De Sceaux 8 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins 2nd in Champion Chase
2015 Dodging Bullets 8 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls Won Champion Chase
2014 Sire De Grugy 8 Jamie Moore Gary Moore Won Champion Chase
2013 Sprinter Sacre 7 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Won Champion Chase
2012 Somersby 8 Dominic Elsworth Henrietta Knight 7th in Ryanair Chase
2011 Master Minded 8 Tony McCoy Paul Nicholls 8th in Champion Chase

What Happened in 2021?

First Flow put in a career best effort and blew the market principals away in the Clarence House Chase 2021, pulling off a 14/1 shock. Content to take dual Tingle Creek winner and 11/8 favourite Politologue on up front, Kim Bailey’s improving nine-year-old got a brave ride from David Bass. Just two weeks earlier, the jockey fell at Kempton in a Grade 2 when riding one of the stable’s other stars. That was a distant memory here, however, as First Flow found for his rider when asked and went clear on the run-in, scoring by seven lengths. He left his past winning form in handicaps like the Castleford Chase at Wetherby on his last start well and truly behind.

Northern raider Waiting Patiently, supplemented at a cost of £5,000 by trainer Ruth Jefferson, justified his owners’ outlay but not a starting price of 5/2. He just held onto third under champion jockey Brian Hughes by a head from 10/1 shot Fanion D’Estruval from the Venetia Williams stable. That pair were eight lengths clear of the previous Clarence House Chase winner Defi Du Seuil, who again didn’t fire for Philip Hobbs, Richard Johnson and JP McManus at 9/2. Rank outsider Le Patriote and 2019 Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres never got into the race, but at least completed with Bun Doran pulling up. The Clarence House Chase result has blown the Champion Chase ante post market for the Cheltenham Festival wide open.

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About the Author

 Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark has been around horse racing and betting his entire life. His father and godfather ran a trackside bookmaker's pitch at Market Rasen Racecourse in Lincolnshire for many years. Jamie was Sports Editor for Coral's digital platforms between 2014 and 2017, and has since become a successful freelancer.