Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Politologue is likely to run again before the end of the season, with races at Aintree, Sandown and Punchestown all in the melting pot.
Few would have considered the Paul Nicholls-trained grey as a possible winner of Wednesday’s two-mile showpiece a week ago, but the defection of dual winner Altior on Tuesday and the late withdrawal of Chacun Pour Soi changed the picture significantly.
Defi Du Seuil was a red-hot favourite, but could only finish fourth as Politologue led his rivals a merry dance from the front in the hands of Harry Skelton, providing his trainer with a sixth win in the race.
The next potential port of call for Politologue is the Melling Chase at Aintree – a race he won two years ago and finished a distant second in last season behind Min.
However, Nicholls is currently in favour of sidestepping a trip to Merseyside and instead waiting for either the Celebration Chase at Sandown or the Champion Chase at Punchestown.
He said: “I would have thought he won’t go to Aintree as that might come a bit quick, but I wouldn’t want to rule it out if Min and everything else went elsewhere.
“I expect we will go to either Sandown or Punchestown at the end of the season over two miles. He is good fresh and he will go on any ground, though I wouldn’t risk him if it was fast.
“He loves Sandown having won a Tingle Creek and he will be fresh so it will be one of those two Grade One races we go for.”
Two Nicholls-trained stars who were not in action at the Cheltenham Festival were Cyrname and Topofthegame.
Cyrname could yet run again this season following his heavy fall in last month’s Ascot Chase, while Topofthegame is back in light exercise, having missed the entire campaign through injury.
The latter won the RSA Chase at last year’s Festival, notably beating Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini and multiple Grade One winner Delta Work.
Nicholls added: “Cyrname has started cantering already. He won’t go to Aintree and if he does go anywhere before the end of the season it will be Sandown for the Oaksey Chase.
“Topofthegame is fine at the moment. He has been doing two or three hours on the walker for the last three months. We will start training him on Monday.
“We will do six weeks of lighter trotting and a bit of cantering. We will do a bit with him then put him away and come back in July.
“Next season he will go straight to the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.”