Rain, and lots of it, has left
the O'Connell family, owners of Un De Sceaux, confident of gaining revenge over
Tingle Creek conqueror Defi Du Seuil in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at
Ascot on Saturday, writes Brian Sheerin.
Storm Brendan battered Ireland and parts of Britain on Monday and the forecast for the week suggests the 2m1f Grade 1 contest will be run in gruelling conditions.
Defi Du Seuil finished a neck in front of Un De Sceaux at Sandown last month and Colm O'Connell, son of owner Eddie, is relishing the chance to turn the tables.
He said: “We're dying for another shot at Defi Du Seuil – it looks a proper rematch. Defi is a smashing horse and there'll be no hard-luck stories."
Despite being confident of victory on what is likely to be Un De Sceaux's favoured heavy ground on Saturday, O’Connell will take defeat in good grace.
He said: “When we were beaten by Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase in 2016, we went for the Celebration Chase at Sandown and got rightly smacked again.
“I was able to go up to Nicky Henderson [Sprinter Sacre's trainer] afterwards and say, 'right, it wasn't a fluke, fair play – we've been beaten fair and square twice'. I'll say the same to JP on Saturday if they do it again – that’s what it’s
He added: “I'm very curious to see how we'll get on. In theory we can't win because we're 12 years of age and Defi Du Seuil is nearly half our age, but Un De Sceaux is not your average horse.”