Saturday 19 January 2019

Politologue primed for Cheltenham

Politologue. Photo: Adam Davy/PA
Politologue. Photo: Adam Davy/PA

Graham Clark

Politologue confirmed he will be a major player in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March after strolling to victory in the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Having gained a first top-level success in the Tingle Creek, the six-year-old made it three wins from as many starts this season to complete a Grade Two double on the card for trainer Paul Nicholls.

Politologue was left in front following Special Tiara's fall at the fifth-last and despite getting in tight at the final fence, the 8/15 favourite only needed to be kept up to his work by Sam Twiston-Davies to defeat Vaniteux by an eased-down 13 lengths.

Nicholls said: "That was job done for us, really, as it means I can give him a little holiday now. I've been a bit hard on him and peaked him for the Tingle Creek and I've ticked him over for this.

"He will have a break and we will use the Game Spirit a bit like the Haldon Gold Cup, then have him at his very best for Cheltenham as that was always the plan.


"He is progressive and I can't wait for the spring with him."

Cyrname may have been a disappointment over hurdles but he is proving anything but over fences after initiating Nicholls' big-race brace with a seven-length triumph in the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices' Chase.

Nicholls said of the 7/4 winner: "He is a proper horse now. Over hurdles he was just too keen and just by letting him bowl along in front and using his jumping has made him

"He was very good at Huntingdon. He ran well at Newbury but it didn't suit him going left-handed. The Pendil or Scilly Isles on decent ground will suit him.

"He is going the right way now, having been a bit disappointing at one time."

Alan King hopes he has genuine Triumph Hurdle contender amongst his team following Redicean's 10-length success in the 32Red Casino Introductory Juvenile Hurdle.

King said of the 11/8 favourite: "It is not ideal conditions for a horse to make his debut over hurdles. He did well enough but his jumping will be so much slicker.

"He could go to the Chatteris Fen at Huntingdon in three weeks but we will see how he comes out of this. Hopefully we can find a Triumph Hurdle horse somewhere. He is in the mix."

Kayf Grace sent favourite-backers home happy in the final race of the day after producing a doughty display in the 32Red Download The App Handicap Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson's 11/4 market-leader was strongly pressed by Eddiemaurice, but saw her off by a length and a half in the hands of Nico de Boinville.

Henderson said: "She was disappointing in Ascot last time, but I love this mare. She's just gorgeous and beautifully bred and actually very classy. She has had issues and it's just nice to see her back on track again.

"She only had one run at Bangor last season and came into this season as a handicapper with only one run under her belt."

Hornby's 12-day ban

Jockey Rob Hornby was suspended for 12 days after he rode a finish a circuit too soon at Wolverhampton yesterday

Hornby made the error aboard Almutamarred in the concluding race on the card, a handicap over a mile and three-quarters.

The five-year-old chestnut was sent off at odds of 16/1 and ended up finishing 10th of 11 runners, beaten 83 lengths by the winner Willyegolassiego.

A statement issued by the Wolverhampton stewards read: "Rob Hornby, the rider of Almutamarred (USA), unplaced, had appeared to ride a finish a circuit too soon.

"After being interviewed and shown recordings of the incident, the rider was suspended for 12 days."

Irish Independent

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