Hat-trick of crowns for Hales in the feature race of the day
Politologue caused the upset of The Festival™ presented by Magners 2020 so far with an all-the-way 6/1 success in the £400,000 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Trained by Paul Nicholls, the nine-year-old son of Poliglote jumped with aplomb under Harry Skelton and stayed on strongly in the closing stages to record a nine and a half-length success in Wednesday's Grade 1 event over stable companion Dynamite Dollars (7/1). The 2/5 favourite Defi Du Seuil was disappointing and a well-beaten fourth.
This was Politologue's third victory in Grade 1 company and Nicholls' sixth win in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, joining Nicky Henderson and Tom Dreaper as the winning-most trainer in the race's history.
The Ditcheat maestro, registering his 46th win in total at The Festival, said: "Politologue is best fresh and he is brilliant when he is fresh. He is not the easiest to train - he bled in the Tingle Creek and we had to change what we do with him, but he was very, very ready. There was no other way to ride him. The other horse [Dynamite Dollars] made a mistake at the top of the hill - he wants two and a half miles - but it was two very good runs.
"I am pleased because it shows we were right about coming here fresh. I just can't wait for Clan des Obeaux on Friday now. It shows that, when they are very fit and very fresh, they are brilliant.
"The race fell apart a little bit with a few coming out but it was his race and he was very good. I am very pleased. I knew we were in the right place and I knew that he wouldn't stop. Harry was doing the right job and he was jumping brilliant from the front. I am thrilled with him.
"I looked in the paddock beforehand and thought he was a stand-out. I got him here fresh and fit and it's just worked out brilliantly."