Staged at Ascot racecourse the Clarence House Chase is a Grade One contest run over a distance of 2m1f.
The Clarence House Chase was first run back in 1989 when the popular Desert Orchid won the prize as a 10 year-old. The race is also a good guide to that season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase with Sprinter Sacre landing both races in 2013, Sire de Grugy in 2014, while Dodging Bullets did the same double in 2015, plus most recently Altior in 2019. The Willie Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux also made the race his own by landing three of the last six renewals.
The 2021 running was won by the Kim Bailey-trained First Flow at 14/1.
Trainers Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls has also won the race five times each and– as mentioned – the Willie Mullins camp have taken three of the last six runnings.
Here at TQ we are on hand with all the key stats ahead of the 2022 renewal – this year run on Saturday 22nd January.
Recent Clarence House Chase Winners
2021 - FIRST FLOW (14/1)
2020 - DEFI DU SEUIL (11/10 fav)
2019 – ALTIOR (1/10 fav)
2018 - UN DE SCEAUX (4/9 fav)
2017 – UN DE SCEAUX (1/2 fav)
2016 – UN DE SCEAUX (1/2 fav)
2015 – DODGING BULLETS (7/2)
2014 – SIRE DE GRUGY (5/4 fav)
2013 – SPRINTER SACRE (1/5 fav)
2012 – SOMERSBY (9/2)
2011 – MASTER MINDED (4/7 fav)
2010 – TWIST MAGIC (11/8 fav)
2009 – MASTER MINDED (1/4 fav)
2008 – TAMARINBLEU (12/1)
2007 – No Race
2006 – TYSOU (10/1)
2005 – WELL CHIEF (5/1)
2004 – ISIO (4/1)
2003 – No Race
Clarence House Chase Past Trends
18/18 – Raced within the last 7 weeks
18/18 – Won at least 3 times (fences) previously
17/18 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
17/18 – Won a race over fences at 2m1f or further
16/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
16/18 – Favourites placed
15/18 – Winners from the top 3 in the betting market
13/18 – Won by a French-bred horse
13/18 – Won their last race
12/18 – Went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase (4 winners)
12/18 – Raced at Sandown or Wetherby last time out
10/18 – Favourites that won
10/18 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
9/18 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or less
7/18 – Won by a horse aged 8 years-old
5/18 – Had won the Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown) last time out
4/18 – Went onto win the Champion Chase that season (2009 - Master Minded, 2013 -Sprinter Sacre, 2014 - Sire de Grugy, 2015 - Dodging Bullets)
4/18 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable (won the race 5 times in all)
3/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins (3 of last 6)
3/18 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable (won the race 5 times in all)
2/18 – Won by the Pipe stable
Since 1989 there have only been 3 winners aged in double-figures
Since 1989 (29 runnings) there have been 12 winners aged 8 years-old
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 7/2
2006 – Renewal at Sandown
2005 & 2017 – Renewals at Cheltenham
TQ VERDICT: Well, the ‘clash of the season’ is ON! Yes, just four runners here and even though you can’t totally rule out last year’s winner - First Flow - all eyes will be on the match-up here between the unbeaten pair - Shishkin and Energumene. Irish trainer - Willie Mullins - is no stranger to winning this race - winning 3 of the last 6 - so it’s great that he’s sending over Energumene, who has won all five of his starts over fences. He returned last month with another easy win at Cork and it’s hard to fault his chance. We can expect him to make a bold bid from the front again and being rated just a pound off Shishkin, then you really can make a case for them both. However, I just feel that the way SHISHKIN has been running recently, the track here at Ascot will suit as he’s been doing his best work at the finish. The extra furlong here also looks a plus for the Henderson horse, who brings a 6-race unbeaten chase record to the party. He looked to hit a bit of a flat spot in his last race at Kempton over Christmas, but once he got into the home straight powered home to beat the useful Greaneteen by 10 lengths. That was also his first run back from a wind op and - a bit like his former stablemate - Altior - he has a very similar running style to him. With the Mullins horse - Energumene - likely to run from the front too, this should enable a strong pace, which will further play into the hands of Shishkin, who always finishes his races off very well. Amoola Gold makes up the four runners but is rated 21lbs inferior to the selection and it will be a shock if he’s placed anything better than fourth!
As we start another new year, this month also gives us the Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot– a contest that will produce plenty more clues ahead of the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in a few months. This year, the race will be run on Saturday 22nd January.
In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy, Dodging Bullets and Altior land the Clarence House Chase before going onto win the Champion Chase, while leading Irish handler - Willie Mullins - is no stranger to sending his leading lights to the race - having won the prize with Un De Sceaux three times in the last six years.
Twelve months ago, we saw a slightly surprising result when the Kim Bailey yard won the race for the first time when their 9 year-old First Flow powered home to beat the popular grey Politologue - he could be back for more in 2022.
Let’s take a look at some of the other main trends to take into the race.
Recent Form – Even though most of the runners will tick this trend - with ALL of the last 18 winners having raced in the last seven weeks then this is a ‘must-have’ stat to look for. If you want to take this trend a bit further then 10 of the last 18 winners had run in the last 4 weeks too. Next up is to look back at past wins over fences. All of the last 18 recent winners had also won at least three times over fences, while 73% of the last 18 winners came here off the back of a win. Also note horses that had raced at Sandown or Wetherby last time out – 67% of the last 18 winners had been in action at one of those two courses in their last run. Last year’s winner - First Flow - won at Wetherby before heading to Ascot, while 5 of the last 18 Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown) winners following up in this contest.
Age – 17 of the last 18 winners came here aged 9 or younger, so this is another trend to certainly have onside - backed up again 12 months ago with First Flow aged 9. It’s the 8 year-olds that have the best recent record in recent years though– winning 7 of the last 18. Also, it’s worth noting that since 1989 there have only been three winners aged in double-figures, but twelve successful horses aged 8 years-old.
Favourites/Betting – It’s been an extremely decent race for the favourites in the last 18 runnings, with 10 of the last 18 market leaders going in – that’s a 56% return, while with a massive 16 of the last 18 jollies placed then the favourites are rarely out of the frame too. This is backed up with the average winning SP in the last 17 runnings only 7/2.
Breeding – French-bred chasers have dominated the race in recent times. 13 of the last 18 (72%) fit the bill here - 6 of the last 8 winners have been French-bred horses.
Stable Form - Finally, being one of the top Grade One 2m chases on the calendar, then it’s no real surprise that the ‘big gun’ yards of Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins have farmed this race recently. Since 2009 (13 renewals) one of this trio has won the race a staggering 9 times! In total, the Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson stables have mopped-up five Clarence House Chase wins, while Willie Mullins wasn’t afraid to head here with his talented Un De Sceaux – who became the most successful horse in the races history when winning it three times between 2016 and 2018.
Last year’s winner - First Flow - could be back for more and he’s returned this season in great form having landed the Peterborough Chase in December and, if so, will be looking to join the likes of Un De Sceaux and Master Minded as multiple winners of the race.