Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday and pick out their 1-2-3...
"...he will be tough to beat if in a similar mood..."
Timeform on Politologue
Clarence House Chase
15:35 Ascot, Saturday
Live on ITV4
1. Bun Doran (Tom George/Sean Bowen)
Made the breakthrough at graded level when winning the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton last season and produced a creditable effort when third behind Politologue in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham. That leaves him short of the level required here, however, and he arrives on the back of two below-par efforts, so others are preferred.
2. Defi du Seuil (Philip Hobbs/ Richard Johnson)
Narrowly beat Un de Sceaux in the Tingle Creek last season before readily brushing him aside in this contest. Was sent off odds-on for the Champion Chase but was well below his best at the Festival and also disappointed when pulled up on his reappearance in the Shloer Chase in November. A top-class chaser at his best but has something to prove now.
3. Duc des Genievres (Paul Nicholls/ Daryl Jacob)
Posted an impressive, wide-margin win in the 2019 Arkle for Willie Mullins and put up just about his best effort since when second to Put The Kettle On in the Shloer Chase on his first start for Paul Nicholls in November. Below that level when only third in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton last month, however, and this is tougher.
4. Fanion d'Estruval (Venetia Williams/ Charlie Deutsch)
Looked a good prospect when winning by six lengths on his British debut at Newbury last season, but disappointed in a Grade 2 at Kempton on his only subsequent start of the campaign. Shaped with promise when runner-up in a Cheltenham handicap on his reappearance in November and was going well when falling three out in the Peterborough Chase last time. Form is well short of what's required but he's not yet shown everything he has to offer.
5. First Flow (Kim Bailey/ David Bass)
Took well to chasing last season and ended the campaign in good style, winning three on the spin. Picked up where he left off when landing a handicap over this course and distance and then dug deep to win a handicap at Wetherby last month, extending his winning sequence to five. Tough, reliable type but this is a much tougher ask.
6. Le Patriote (Dr Richard Newland/ Charlie Hammond)
Has won a couple of novice chases this season but had his limitations exposed when a well-beaten third in a Grade 2 novice at Cheltenham on his penultimate start. Doesn't look up to this level.
7. Politologue (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Won the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March and ran to a similar level when landing a second Tingle Creek at Sandown last month, jumping well on both occasions. Those pieces of form are just about the best on offer and, fully effective under these conditions, he will be tough to beat if in a similar mood.
8. Waiting Patiently (Ruth Jefferson/ Brian Hughes)
Versatile type who was an excellent third to Defi du Seuil in the Tingle Creek over two miles on his only start last season and was a fast-finishing runner-up in the King George (over three miles) on his reappearance last month. Could provide the biggest threat to Politologue.
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Timeform's analyst verdict:
Politologue is minus Harry Skelton, who has struck up such a good relationship with him, but he'll take plenty of stopping if in anything like the same form as when landing a second Tingle Creek last month. With doubts about the current form of Defi du Seuil the obvious threat is King George runner-up Waiting Patiently, who showed he has the speed for 2m when third in last season's Tingle Creek.
2. Waiting Patiently
3. Fanion d'Estruval