Un De Sceaux 
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Sandown Park Racecourse

Paul Townend deployed patient tactics on Un De Sceux, but his dominance at the finish was unquestionable as the gelding swept to a brilliant third successive win in the Grade One Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Five horses went to post for this important two mile contest, with the hat-trick seeking Un De Sceaux looking the class act beforehand.

Speredek went into the lead from the start, with Paul Townend content to gift him a six length advantage on Un De Sceaux.

With a circuit to run, Speredek was 8 lengths clear of Un De Sceaux, the novice Brain Power, Kylemore Lough and San Benedetto.

Speredek extended his lead to 12 lengths, but belted the open ditch down the back, while Un De Sceaux was still patiently ridden, 10 lengths off the pace.

Speredek and Sean Bowen took the fifth last with an 8 length lead, with Un De Sceaux still ambling along.

The pace finally told on the home turn, as Un De Sceaux effortlessly closed and passed Speredek before the second last, with Brain Power trying hard to keep tabs on the Irish runner.

Un De Sceaux leapt well two out, but Brain Power fell heavily, while Speredek was now on the back foot.

That left Un De Sceaux clear and whilst Speredek stuck resolutely to his guns, he was absolutely no match for this outstanding chaser, who eased to his third successive victory in the Clarence House Chase.

Kylemore Lough, never in contention, finished third, with San Benedetto last of the four finishers.

The Willie Mullins trained 10-year old Un De Sceaux won by 7 lengths and will look a formidable contender for either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or Ryanair Chase, which he won last year.

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.”