The Tower talks Un De Sceaux vs Ar Mad
LET’S hope for a warm blast of air to sweep over Ascot during the next 24 hours – tomorrow’s 2017 Clarence House Chase may depend on it. One of the winter’s most eagerly anticipated Grade One contests, this year may lack a power packed line-up…but one of the sports big stars still lines up to take his chance.
Un De Sceaux
Un De Sceaux has become something of a forgotten horse among the Closutton Army marshalled by Willie Mullins. Vying for the headlines among Faugheen, Annie Power and Douvan is no easy feat, after all. But it can be argued he is the most exciting of any Mullins thoroughbread to watch in action. The French-bred is a thrilling jumper – probably second only to Thistlecrack in that department – and one can barely take their eyes off him at every fence. For that reason, he’s never one to give punters a comfortable ride for their money. His comeback win in the Tingle Creek last month summed him up – the classiest horse in the race yet he almost blundered it away at the last fence. Those wishing to pile in at quotes of 4/5 are more than welcome from where this observer is standing.
Fellow French recruit AR MAD rates the fly in the favourite’s ointment. Gary Moore’s charge was improving at a rate of knots last season before his campaign was cut short. He dished out one particular thrashing to Bristol De Mai at Sandown with a performance from the front that would have got most horses under the pump. He was three lengths down on Un De Sceaux in that Tingle Creek last month when both horses made their comeback, but to the naked eye it was AR MAD who looked to have more to come in terms of improvement. It was his first run for 11 months and it will be fascinating to see what he produces now that he’s race-fit. The mood coming out of Moore’s camp is certainly positive and he looks worth a bet at the prices.
Chance of an Outsider?
Outside of the front two in the betting, it’s hard to make a case for anything else. Only four others go to post and it would be a huge shock if any of them landed a blow. Kerry Lee’s TOP GAMBLE is likely to get his conditions but at 159 he looks plenty high enough now in the weights. ROYAL REGATTA is up 9lbs for a gutsy win last time out, but again that looks a hard task at the weights, and DODGING BULLETS has definitely waved goodbye to his best days. It leaves the way clear for a high octane clash up front between the big two, and at the prices I simply have to lean with AR MAD, who could well catch the favourite napping if we see some of those notoriously sloppy jumps.
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