Grade One Clarence House Chase Guide 2022

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 15:35
Nico de Boinville


J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 172
Days: 26

The eagerly anticipated clash of the top 2 miler chasers is finally upon us this weekend, Shishkin vs Energumene for the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase, a stepping stone to the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham festival in March, a route a lot of the great 2-mile chasers have taken previously.

Shishkin has been flawless in his career so far, winning 10 of his 11 starts under rules with plenty of Grade 1’s to his name already, including the Supreme Novices Hurdle and the Arkle Novices Chase at the Cheltenham festival.

He was foot perfect in his seasonal reappearance at Sandown last month, beating the Tingle Creek winner with ease by cool 10 lengths, jumping like his usual fantastic self and cruised to victory, eased down by Nico De Boinville, who was very complimentary of the horse after the race.

He looks a real chaser for the ages and is only an 8yo so is expected to get better with each run, his ceiling hasn’t been reached yet, for a yard who have had plenty of this sort of horse over the years with Sprinter Sacre and Altior.

They will relish this test against his 2-mile rival, and it could be a race we are all talking about for years to come, also there might be a horse that comes out of this who will also be talked about for time to come.Flawless record with 10 wins in just 11 runs under rules with 3 Grade 1’s to his name already, had a prep run this season which he won with ease.

He is a star chaser who is the one to beat for a top yard with top 2 milers previously. The one to beat in this fantastic contest.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 15:35
Paul Townend


J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 171
Days: 48

The Irish raider who like Shishkin is arriving in this race in top form, with 7 wins in 8 starts under rules, boasting a flawless record of 5 wins over the larger obstacles for the great Willie Mullins.

A two-time Grade 1 winner, both of which coming over the larger obstacles, he only ran once over hurdles showing the sign of intent to get him over fences, the team knew early on his future would lay as a chaser, and he has proved them right so far.

He has had a prep run this season, in the Grade 2 Hilly Way Novices chase at Cork last month, disputing the lead all the way around and jumping nicely to win by just over 8 lengths.

That race was certainly run to suit him, but he could not have been more impressive when winning, and he will prove to be a worthy adversary in this against Shishkin.

Energumene’s best performance to date was his last run of the season last term, in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown, it wasn’t particularly a strong affair with only three other runners in the race, but he made all, jumped superbly and won at a canter, really stamping his authority on this patterned national hunt division.

Flawless record, especially over fences with 5 wins in all 5 starts, two-time Grade 1 winner and has always been a top chaser in the making for his yard.

Foot perfect prep run and will certainly serve it up to Shishkin.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 15:35
David Bass

First Flow

J: David Bass
T: Kim Bailey
Age: 10
Weight: 11-7
OR: 162
Days: 48

Although this looks set to be between the two main protagonists at the top end of the market, last year's winner of this race First Flow arrives at this race in top form.

The Kim Bailey charge is fresh off his Grade 2 Peterborough Chase win at Huntingdon last December, beating a progressive horse of Venetia Williams who looks to have a nice future.

His last run was the first at the 2m3f trip, and it did look to suit but his best form by far is over today's trip of 2 miles, boasting a win in this race last season as well as a decent run in the Champion Chase last March.

He arrives at this race in top form but is slightly up against it this year (Last years was an easier renewal) with the two at the head of the market, and is rated 10 lbs lower than them, but he has sprung up with a few shocks before in his career already so don’t be surprised if he runs a huge race.

Winner of this race last season but has a harder task of keeping his crown with the two at the head of the market, always runs well and arrives here fresh.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 15:35
Harry Skelton

Amoola Gold

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 9
Weight: 11-7
OR: 151
Days: 42

The Dan Skelton mount has some great form to boot at Ascot, with the form figures of 1212 at this venue, clearly a venue that he thrives at, however he hasn’t contested in a race with this quality in it.

His last career victory came in the Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot in October last year, after a phenomenal last to first ride from Bridget Andrews, a race that hasn’t exactly thrown up any winners since.

He does look slightly out of his depth in this, but fair play to connections for giving it a go and should he get around safely, there will be some prize money in it for him.

Looks very much out of his depth in this, although he has a very good course record.

Yet to contest in a Grade 1 and doesn’t have the form of the other three runners.

Seems to be making up the numbers


James Mackie | @JMackieRacing