Jonbon is the headline act among six entries for the rearranged Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham – but Gary Moore is hoping history will repeat itself for defending champion Editeur Du Gite.
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 the Cheltenham Festival 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, 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,” said Moore.
“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.”
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 December Gold Cup hero Fugitif completes the entries but is also engaged in the £100,000 Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase on the card.
We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.
If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.