The Sussex-trained horse hoping to upstage Jonbon in the Clarence House Chase
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Nicky Henderson’s Tingle Creek hero began his campaign with victory in the Shloer Chase at Prestbury Park in November and was fully on course for a clash with old adversary El Fabiolo at the race’s traditional home of Ascot last Saturday.
With that card falling victim to the weather, the Seven Barrows handler was eager for the race to be swiftly rearranged to Trials Day, as it was when Editeur Du Gite downed Edwardstone and Energumene in a thrilling contest 12 months ago.
There is set to be no Irish representation this time around, with as expected El Fabiolo keeping his powder dry in favour of the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown a week later.
But Jonbon will head to the Cotswolds this weekend live on Racing TV, with Moore also keen to add Editeur Du Gite’s name to the mix on the back of his second Desert Orchid Chase victory over the Christmas period.
“It would be nice wouldn’t it, if lightning could strike twice,” Moore said. “He seems in good order and the horse is very well – he’s entitled to take his chance.“We’re under no illusions we will beat Jonbon, but I just hope he runs a big race – I’m sure he will.”
Clarence House Chase - via Cheltenham odds:
Editeur Du Gite 4/1
Fugitif, Nube Negra 14/1
Elixir De Nutz 16/1
Funambule Sivola 25/1
Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra got the better of Elixir De Nutz in the battle for second when three lengths adrift of Editeur Du Gite at Kempton last month and both are set to reoppose in the Grade One contest.
Despite struggling to make an impression so far this term, Venetia Williams’ Funambule Sivola finished second in the Champion Chase behind Energumene in 2022 and represents a team in good order.
Richard Hobson’s Fugitif completes the entries, though the December Gold Cup hero is also engaged in the £100,000 Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase on the card.
Four-time champion Richard Johnson believes the Gary Moore runner could go well at Cheltenham but will struggle to beat Jonbon.
Johnson, speaking to BoyleSports who offer the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup odds, said: "Gary Moore’s horse Editeur Du Gite loves Cheltenham but realistically, he is not in Jonbon’s league.
“It is difficult for people to understand that a top handicapper who can win off 155 or 158 to make that jump to grade one class. On the numbers it shouldn’t be a very big difference, but those championship races just take everything to a different level."