Un De Sceaux in great shape for Clarence House repeat
17 January 2017
The Berkshire Community Foundation Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday looks like being a pretty similar race to the Tingle Creek at Sandown last month, with the exclusion of Sire De Grugy but the inclusion of Special Tiara.
I'd imagine Ar Mad would be less exuberant than he was in the Tingle Creek and, having had a run, he'd be a tough nut to crack.
He did travel strongly at Sandown but made a couple of mistakes. When you watch the replay you'd have to be taken with the way he finished his race and you'd be expecting him to be a little less gassy than he was in the first start.
He will take some beating but Un De Sceaux won it last year, seems in really good form and I'm looking forward to riding him.
Any rain would play to Un De Sceaux's strengths. There's a lot of jumping at Ascot - it suits a horse who likes to get going about their business.
At Thurles on Thursday, Willie [Mullins] has four entries in the Grade Two mares’ novices’ chase.
It's a big pot and I'd imagine he'll run a couple, but which I wouldn't know.
Benie De Dieux jumped super at Limerick over Christmas, travelled really well and looked to be going a different speed to the others but to be fair to Westerner Lady she hasn't done too much wrong either.
She made a bad mistake in Cork when Alpha Des Obeaux beat her but other than that she's been pretty much foot perfect.
Soft ground was an issue for Crack Mome:
Crack Mome travelled strongly at Fairyhouse on Saturday and jumped quite slickly all the way through, but didn't just pick up like we thought he would.
Mark Walsh went by me really quickly after the last. If I'd jumped the last I would have made more of race of it but I'm not sure I would have won.
He's a nice-sized horse and has a great action, covers a lot of ground. The ground was soft and he didn't quite handle it down the straight.
Faugheen on course:
Willie is very happy with him. Fingers crossed that's he'll turn up in the Irish Champion Hurdle on Sunday week.
Once Willie is happy that makes everyone feel easier. I rode him about three weeks ago. John Codd rides him all his work, I tend not to interfere just take over on the race days. If nothing's broke don't fix it!"
Limini shaping up:
Limini looks to be in good order for her possible return this weekend. She won the Mares' Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham last year. We stepped up and then things went a bit wrong for her at Aintree, where Buveur d'Air beat her, and Willie is delighted with her. Fingers crossed we can let her go.