Politologue heads fascinating field for Clarence House Chase at Ascot

Politologue and Harry Skelton on their way to winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Pic: Courtesy of Cheltenham Racecourse).

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POLITOLOGUE heads a fascinating field for the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase over two miles and one furlong at Ascot on Saturday.

Politologue, winner of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival returned with an emphatic victory in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 5.

Amongst the Paul Nicholls-trained 10-year-old’s rivals are last year’s Clarence House winner, the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil – who has not run since disappointing in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November – and Waiting Patiently, who faces a sharp drop in trip after finishing second in the Ladbroke King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Connections of Waiting Patiently opted to pay the £5,000 supplementary entry fee after the 10-year-old continued to thrive after running on well to finish second to Frodon at Kempton and is expected to relish the forecast soft ground at Ascot on Saturday.

The King George was over three miles and Waiting Patiently is versatile distance-wise. Connections believe the timing of the Clarence House Chase suits his campaign.

“He came out of the King George really well, ridiculously well, in himself,” Waiting Patiently’s trainer Ruth Jefferson said.

“I was mad with myself I didn’t enter him in the first place – and we felt a couple of weeks ago if he was all right, and there was plenty of rain about, we’d have a crack at it.

“It gives us a bit more time to think about Cheltenham rather than wait for the Ascot Chase (next month). We might go for that race, but we thought we’d run him while he was well in himself – and it frees up other options,” the trainer told Timeform.

“They might get a frost but they are due about 25 millimetres of rain first at Ascot, so it’s going to be right up his street ground wise. He handles it better than most.”

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