Superstar steeplechaser Un de Sceaux continued his incredible association with the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Steeple Chase as he won the two-mile feature race for a third consecutive time. Lining up as the overwhelming favourite, Un de Sceaux made light work of the testing conditions, allowing Speredek to lead the way to the home straight. In a fine display of his famed turn of foot, the Willie Mullins trained gelding was lifted home by the roar of an appreciative Ascot crowd.
Elsewhere on the card, the first race, The Horse Comes First Juvenile Hurdle was won by the Alan King trained 4-year-old, Nayati. Avoiding trouble at the last, jockey Wayne Hutchinson managed to steer the French-bred gelding to a second consecutive victory on English soil.
The Thames Materials Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase was won by an impressive 12 lengths after a superb ride by Aine O'Connor aboard Drumcliff. Another wide margin performance saw the third race, the Grade 2 OLBg Mares’ Hurdle, claimed by La Bague Au Roi as no pursuer could finish within 16 lengths of the mare now headed to the Cheltenham Festival.
Race four, The Ascot Spring Garden Show Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle, ended with a hard-fought finish between Jenkins and Air Horse One, the former claiming victory by an eventual two and a quarter lengths.
The bet365 Handicap Chase delivered both Noel Fehily and Harry Fry a second winner on the card as the clear favourite, Acting Lass, came to the fore.
Finally, after Un de Sceaux’s record-breaking third victory in the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Steeple Chase, an afternoon of brilliant Jumps action was rounded off by a success for Kim Bailey and Sean Bowen as Vinndication took the last by a mere neck.
Jump racing continues here at Ascot on the 17th February as we host the Betfair Ascot Chase, another Grade 1 contest sure to attract a stellar line up as the stars of the sport limber up for the Cheltenham Festival in March.