Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05


The road to the winner’s enclosure


Anthony Ive

FORTY-EIGHT hours before the off last year, the Queen Mother Champion Chase looked set to be the race of the week, with two-time champion Altior, Tingle Creek and Clarence House winner Defi Du Seuil, and Dublin Chase hero Chacun Pour Soi fighting for the top two-mile chase of the season. Unfortunately, with Altior being pulled out the day before and Chacun Pour Soi withdrawn on the day, the race we had hoped for did not materialise. However, it was no less of a cracking contest, full of drama and a worthy winner in the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue. The big grey had run in the race twice previously, when well beaten in 2018 and a good second in 2019, behind Altior on both occasions. The 2019 performance was his best at the track in six attempts. His season started back at the Cotswold track with a front-running performance in the Shloer Chase (finished second to Defi Du Seuil). This was followed up with a well-beaten fifth at Sandown in the Tingle Creek before he was put away until the spring. At nine years old, and after two runs behind 2-5 shot Defi Du Seuil, Politologue was sent off 6-1 second favourite. As the field of five came to the first, Politologue outjumped Bun Doran, hitting the front with a great leap. As the first four fences came and went, the silks of John Hales led the way by a couple of lengths, with Dynamite Dollars, Bun Doran and Defi Du Seuil in behind. Politologue bowled along, taking each fence in style. As they came to the third-last, he jumped better than all of his rivals, extending his lead as he turned for home. At the penultimate fence he went three lengths clear and flew the last, making the rest look like they were standing still as he romped up the hill to win by nine and a half lengths from stablemate Dynamite Dollars.



Cheltenham - The Ultimate Guide

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