POLITOLOGUE had to dig deep to hold Charbel and give trainer Paul Nicholls a sixth success in the Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.
The seven-year-old grey took a definite advantage at the second last fence but was made to work by the runner-up, who kept the deficit to half a length at the line.
Politologue was always travelling comfortably for Sam Twiston-Davies as Gold Present made the running and joined the leader at the third-last.
It looked like the 5/4 favourite might run out a cosy winner, but he had to be ridden out to land the two-mile, five-furlong feature.
Politologue travels into the contest beautifully but still has to fend off Charbel after some tight fencing in the latter stages of the Christy 1965 Chase.— Racing UK (@racing_uk) November 24, 2018
How would the winner fare in a King George on the back of that display?
Ante-post ?? https://t.co/yooymOtYbQ pic.twitter.com/Lx97IvrSqW
Nicholls was at Haydock, where he told ITV Racing: “He just frightens you to death because he travelled so well and the minute he hits the front he idles.
“It’s his first run of the season, but he didn’t want for fitness because he was ready. He could have done with a tow in the race a little bit longer.
“He was giving 7lbs to the second horse. All he’ll do is keep improving. The better the race, the better he is.
“I don’t know about the King George. All the way through that race he showed so much pace. You just have to question whether his forte is going to be stamina or whether he’s got plenty of speed.
“He’s confusing me because he does travel and jump so well in his races. He will probably travel as long as you want, even over three miles. Kempton is a flat track and would probably suit him and not commit too soon on him.
“He’d turned into the straight at Kempton travelling really well. It’s just if he’s got that stamina over three. I just don’t know.”