‘Wonderful’ retirement beckons for grey hero who captured fans’ hearts

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  • Popular 2020 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Politologue will join fellow National Hunt star Big Buck’s in retirement, after bowing out of the sport following his seventh Cheltenham Festival appearance.

    Politologue, owned by John Hales, finished fourth in the 2022 running of the Champion Chase on 16 March. It was the final run in a stellar career for the multiple Grade One-winning crowd favourite, trained by Paul Nicholls.

    “I’m delighted with that and he’s run really well,” said Paul, following the race. “He hasn’t quite got the legs of the others now when coming down the hill but he enjoyed it as he knew it would.

    “He’s been a brilliant servant for us – he’s won over a million quid and won the Champion Chase so we’re really proud of him.”

    Politologue in the 2020 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

    The 11-year-old gelding will return to the Hales’ at the end of the season, for his usual summer holiday, before moving to Mike and Lucy Felton for his retirement. He will join the four-time World Hurdle (Stayers’ Hurdle) winner Big Buck’s, who retired in 2014, at the Feltons’ Dorset base.

    “I’m really emotional to hear that applause from the crowd for him, it just shows what a wonderful horse he’s been and it’s great to see people have enjoyed him,” added Paul.

    “He’s run at seven Festivals and he’s won the Champion Chase, he always gives his best and is an amazing horse.

    “It was a special day when he won the Champion Chase here, but he’s also won two Tingle Creeks and a Grade One at Aintree so he’s been a smashing horse for the Hales family. He goes out at the top and he’ll join Big Buck’s in retirement. He’s going to have a wonderful home.”

    Politologue won 12 of his 31 starts under Rules, and finished second on nine occasions. Harry Skelton, Sam Twiston-Davies and Harry Cobden all tasted Grade One glory aboard the Poliglote son.

    The first of his two Tingle Creek titles came in 2017, a feat he repeated three years later. His other accolades include the Melling Chase at Aintree, plus four Grade Two victories at Ascot, Kempton and Newbury.

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