Un De Sceaux completes Clarence House hat-trick at Ascot
All roads lead to Cheltenham for Mullins’ 10-year-old after eighth Grade One victory
Un De Sceaux completed a Clarence House hat-trick under Paul Townend. Photograph: Julian Herbert/PA
Un De Sceaux won the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at Ascot for the third year running as he took his Grade One tally to eight.
The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old shrugged his four rivals aside with a clear-cut success, even though he did not use his customary front-running tactics.
Speredek set out to stretch the field and was 12 lengths clear at one stage, but Un De Sceaux closed in turning for home when asked for his effort by Paul Townend.
The 4-9 favourite drew away from the second last after Brain Power came down.
Speredek stuck on stoutly for second place, seven lengths behind Un De Sceaux who was recording his 20th career success.
Townend said: “I rode my horse to suit him and the further we went, the more confident I was getting.
“It was hard work, but it was job done today.
“It’s great to get the opportunity to ride these horses. I spoke to Ruby (Walsh) this morning. He’s always helpful when he’s on the sidelines and I’m grateful to Willie and all the owners.
“He has a massive heart.”
Mullins watched the action from Navan and said: “To do that three years running on two different tracks on what looked very tacky ground is great.
“It looks like he’s racing a lot more relaxed nowadays which means we can ride him differently. I was very happy with his jumping.
“I’d be happy enough to go back for the Ryanair Chase after what he did last year, but lets see what happens with all the other horses first.
“He’s an iron horse and takes his training very seriously every morning. He’s there to be shot at making the running, usually.
“We thought there might be a couple of front-runners today so Paul said he was happy enough to let them go if they wanted to, and sure enough there was a front-runner in there and it suited us.”