Politologue is at the top of his game and is the one to beat



Ascot

New trip presents opportunity

13:15 – Eglantine Du Seuil

She ran a cracker on her latest start for us six weeks ago in a competitive mares’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham where she came from off the pace to be second to The White Mouse. This is a new trip for her and though I can’t be sure she stays three miles she was keeping on well at the finish at Cheltenham. I’m hopeful Eglantine Du Seuil can run tidily getting 6 lbs from two smart mares Magic of Light and Roksana.

Strong training partner has helped his cause

13:50 – Danny Kirwan

He has had one or two issue that have interrupted his career but is now in as good a place as we’ve had him for a long time and it was great to see him show what he can do with a fluent victory over this trip at Ascot two months ago. Next time at Cheltenham he didn’t stay three miles. Danny has been working with Politologue and will be much happier back at this trip on testing ground that he relishes. I am expecting a big run from him in a competitive race.

Second time lucky in blinkers

14:25 – Favorito Buck’s

He ran his best race for a while last time in first time blinkers at Ascot where he led all the way until he was collared in the last 100 yards. The handicapper has played fair by leaving him on the same mark and should be in the mix again though he wouldn’t want to the ground be too deep.

Perfect track but conditions against us

15:00 – Capeland

I was thrilled to see him bounce back to form with a stylish success a fortnight ago off a mark of 149 at Wincanton back up in trip to two and a half miles. Capeland is now up to a career high mark of 153 at a track which we know he likes but he is another who wouldn’t want any more rain at Ascot.

Ground against him but plenty still to like

15:35 – Duc Des Genievres

He is probably up against it in this because after bowling along in front he has finished weakly in both of his races since joining us from Ireland. He is a bit too keen for his own good and I suspect we will not see see the best of him until the ground dries up. But as an Arkle winner he deserves another shot at a Grade 1 prize.

Our headline act should take all the beating

15:35 – Politologue

He is bouncing ahead of this Grade 1 Chase which comes at an ideal time ahead of his bid to retain his title in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Politologue has been in seriously good shape since his brilliant success in the Tingle Creek at Sandown and has thrived since we changed his training routine just over a year ago. I’d say he is as well as I’ve ever had him.

Plenty of form heading into the finale

16:10 – Jeremy Pass

He is a really nice horse who stayed on strongly to beat Sizeable Sam fair and square at Wincanton two months ago. The runner up has well and truly franked the form since then. While there is no doubting that Jeremy Horse is a lovely prospect for the future I’m not convinced he wants the ground quite as testing as it might be at Ascot.

Taunton

Refreshed and ready to go again

12:30 – Seelotmorebusiness

He won his bumper well on his debut at Chepstow in October and was then successful at the same course on his first start over hurdles when I was guilty of turning him a bit too quickly. He won tidily despite that and the form looks decent as the second and fourth horses have both won since. Seelotmorebusiness has had a nice break since then and will be well suited by the step up in trip at Taunton.

He won’t give away his title without a fight

14:10 – Yala Enki

He is bidding to win this for the second successive year following his great run when third in the Coral Welsh National under top weight. While the quick turn around from Chepstow is not ideal he is a hardy type, as tough as nails, and continues in good form at home. Conditions at Taunton are ideal for Yala Enki who stays all day.

Promising performance at Kempton bodes well

14:45 – Amour de Nuit

Because amateur jockeys are currently unable to ride in races Angus Cheleda has turned conditional and will partner Amour de Nuit who has been running very well this season and finished fourth in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton a fortnight ago. With Angus claiming a handy 7 lbs he should be in the shake up again at Taunton.

Racecourse experience could prove significant

16:30 – Groovy Kind

She ran well up to a point before tiring in the closing stages on her racecourse debut at Ludlow early in December. She has come on for the experience and should show more on her second start in a first time tongue tie.