Politologue heads two-runner match

Views from connections ahead of the Matchbook Traders Conference Graduation Chase at Kempton on Friday.

Politologue runs at Kempton on Friday

Paul Nicholls' decision to run Politologue at Kempton tomorrow rather than in Warwick's Kingmaker Novices' Chase on Saturday has saved Sam Twiston-Davies from a mad dash to Newbury.

Twiston-Davies was going to need a helicopter to take him from Warwick to get to Newbury for the ride on Ballyandy in the Betfair Hurdle, but that can now be shelved.

It looks shrewd placement, as ever, from champion trainer Nicholls, as the John Hales-owned grey only faces one rival, Dan Skelton's Pain Au Chocolat, in the Matchbook Traders Conference Graduation Chase.

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Politologue lost his unbeaten record over fences last time out to Malcolm Jefferson's Waiting Patiently, but is still as low as 6-1 for the JLT Novices' Chase in March.

"Obviously we hope this is the next step towards Cheltenham and it's saved me a bit of a mad dash," said Twiston-Davies.

"Kempton is a good test for a novice but to be fair he's excelled in the jumping department in his three runs this season.

"Pain Au Chocolat is no mug, he should keep him honest. It's a bit more experience for both horses, so we'll have to see how he gets on.

"I don't think he lost much in defeat last time, he gave 4lb to a very good horse and we did all the donkey work.

"I think he'll be a better horse with a lead and he'll be better again on nice ground, both things he should get at Cheltenham.

"We just need to get this out of the way, hopefully it all goes well and then we can start thinking of Cheltenham."

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