Paul Nicholls is confident that Politologue has the necessary stamina for the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The grey booked his ticket for the Christmas showpiece with a win in Grade Two company at Ascot on Saturday, giving Charbel 6lb and a half-length beating over two miles five furlongs.
Nicholls said: “He will go for the King George, and he will not go for anything else bar that now.
“We will then aim for something after Christmas – but we won’t run in the Cotswold Chase, because that is the last race I would want to run him in, in a bog. Three and a quarter miles around Cheltenham in January is not what he wants.
“The Ascot Chase would suit him well after Christmas – but I said to John (Hales, owner) ‘let’s just worry about one race’, and he will go to the King George fit and well.
“You have got to stay round Kempton, but he stayed at Ascot over the two- miles-five. He has never run over three, but he has won over two-five now, and I’ve got no reason to see why he won’t stay.
“Ascot is a stiff track. He travels well and tends to idle in front, but I was thrilled with him on Saturday.”
Nicholls was not at Ascot to see Politologue win. Instead, he watched Clan Des Obeaux lose little in defeat when fourth in a top-class Betfair Chase.
He said: “He did run very well at the weights. He jumped brilliant for a horse that is just out of a novice stage – and I think the experience will have done him good, running against those horses.
“He was not beaten far by Native River and Thistlecrack and they are top horses. If it would have been a handicap he would have got 21lbs off Native River.
“He will come on a whole heap for that experience, so I was thrilled with him. He learned a lot Saturday. He is in the King George as well, and you would have to consider it because he does like going right-handed.
“I don’t want to overface him because he is only six – but next year in that race, he will be seven and he will be much more mature.”