Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 15 June 2019

Altior likely to renew rivalry with Un De Sceaux at Ascot

Nicky Henderson. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Nicky Henderson. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Sportsdesk

Unbeaten Altior will face a maximum of eight rivals if taking up his entry in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 19.

Nicky Henderson's star extended his unbeaten record over fences to 11 with another bloodless victory in last week's Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton and could renew rivalry with the Willie Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux, which has won this two-mile, one-furlong race the last three seasons and gave the reigning Champion Chaser something to think about when they clashed in the Tingle Creek.

Ruth Jefferson could run Waiting Patiently after his unfortunate early exit in the King George, while the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue could also drop back in trip after having his stamina limitations exposed in the Kempton showpiece.

Nicholls also has Diego Du Charmil, while Colin Tizzard's Fox Norton, and Harry Whittington's Saint Calvados have it as an option.

One horse not entered is Alan King's Sceau Royal which is going straight to the Champion Chase, and will run only if his favoured good ground prevails. The Barbury Castle trainer intends to give the seven-year-old a short break before a possible outing in the two-mile championship race on March 13.

After making a winning returning at Cheltenham in November, the Grade One winner trailed home last behind Altior in the Tingle Creek.

"You won't see Sceau Royal until March when he will go straight to Cheltenham, if the ground is good," said King. "If not, he will probably go to Aintree and then onto Sandown."

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