CLARENCE HOUSE: DAQMAN takes an early look at the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on 20 January. The race is expected to see Un De Sceaux bid for a hat-trick of wins and a small field looks on the cards.

WOLVERHAMPTON ON MONDAY: With racing at Hereford called off on Monday – DAQMAN concentrates on the card at Wolverhampton with three bets.


Is it on the House? A small field is already in prospect – only 14 entries – for the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday, January 20.

The winner for the last two years, Un de Sceaux, is offered at 7-4 ON favourite to complete the hat-trick, after launching his big-race season with a 25-lengths romp in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December.

The home contingent could be headed by Waiting Patiently, four chase wins in a row for Malcom Jefferson but not yet seen in a Grade 1.

Brain Power could be back, bidding to redeem his standing after he unseated David Mullins at the last in the Henry V111 Chase at Sandown in early December.

But an interesting Irish raider alongside the hot favourite could be Ball d’Arc (Gordon Elliott for Gigginstown). Though only six at the time, he had achieved a 158 rating before unseating Jack Kennedy at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Going to Ascot would rule Ball d’Arc out of next Sunday’s Dan Moore Memorial at Fairyhouse and hopefully see the return of his stablemate, Cause Of Causes.

Causes has won an NH Chase and a Cheltenham cross-country for this column, and was second when our winnings were rolled up to the Aintree Grand National.


Hereford’s card this afternoon was called off after freezing conditions overnight left the track frozen in places.

The track tweeted: “The inspection has been brought forward and racing today at Hereford is abandoned due to frozen ground.”

Meanwhile there is also doubt about Tuesday’s meeting at Doncaster.

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan has called an inspection for 3pm today as the ground is currently frozen in places despite the track having been covered.

He said: “I would like to see the frost come out of the ground today. The overnight forecast is for a low of 2C, but there could still be an air frost, and then a high of 3C is forecast tomorrow.

There are no problems reported at Tuesday’s other meetings from Taunton and Southwell (AW).

5.15 Wolverhampton Maximinus Thrax makes the market for me to unleash a ‘Maximinus’ bet on Cliffs Of Capri.

The Jamie Osborne trained runner, rated 94, really should be winning at this level – he won his maiden here over course and distance in November 2016 and has since been competing at a much higher level.

He wasn’t disgraced over a mile at Lingfield last time out in a valuable class 2 handicap – beaten under five lengths and should relish both the drop in class and distance today.

Maximinus Thrax was no match for easy winner Humbert on debut at Kempton but did more than enough to suggest a race like this should be within his grasp. I am worried though that the step back in trip might not help and in Cliffs Of Capri he faces a quality rival.

5.45 Wolverhampton A chance for the stayers to strut their stuff and many of these are out of form, no doubt being wound up for another spell over the jumps.

Paddys Runner could be a good win and place project. He is very lightly raced on the flat but a regular over hurdles. He was second here on his last flat start and should be suited by the extra distance. It’s a far from exact science but I have the feeling he could be well handicapped on the flat and will stake to win 20 on BOTH the BETDAQ win and place markets.

6.15 Wolverhampton Trainer David Loughnane is striking while the iron is hot with Berlusca who ran a cracker at big odds just five days ago. He was nibbled at in the market from 50/1 to 28/1 and made the favourite King Kevin pull out all of the stops to win by three quarters of a length, he remains a mark of 62 – which looks very tempting looking at his overall CV.

SUPERNAP BET 20pts win CLIFFS OF CAPRI (5.15 Wolverhampton)
BET (both to win 20) 2.27pts win and 9.5pts place PADDYS RUNNER (5.45 Wolverhampton)
BET (to win 20pts) 4.3pts win BERLUSCA (6.15 Wolverhampton)

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