Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux are the two star names among five runners declared for the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
The Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil got the better of Willie Mullins' Irish raider Un De Sceaux by a neck in a pulsating renewal of the Tingle Creek at Sandown in early December – and the pair will renew rivalry in this weekend's Grade One feature.
The remarkable 12-year-old Un De Sceaux has already claimed this prize on a record three occasions – completing a hat-trick between 2016 and 2018, but did not line up in last year’s renewal.
However, the five years younger Defi Du Seuil is a short-priced favourite to confirm his superiority in Berkshire.
Altior provided Nicky Henderson with a fifth Clarence House success 12 months ago. This year the Seven Barrows handler relies on Janika, who was beaten nine lengths into fourth place in the Tingle Creek, having won the Haldon Gold Cup earlier in the campaign.
Paul Nicholls also has five victories in the race on his CV and is this year represented by Capeland.
The quintet is completed by Dan Skelton’s outsider Marracudja.