Paul Nicholls has confirmed that his dual Grade One winner Politologue, is ready to step up in trip, for a crack at the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The dashing grey booked his place in the Christmas feature, thanks to a win in the Grade Two Christy Chase at Ascot on Saturday - having skipped the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his seasonal reappearance.
He beat the Kim Bailey-trained Charbel by just half-a-length, but was giving his rival 6lb, having previously won the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree earlier in the year.
(Credit: Sporting Life) At Kempton on Monday, 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," he said.
Speaking of the owner John Hales, he won the Boxing Day feature twice in one year with One Man back in 1996, after the 1995 renewal was postponed until January due to heavy snowfall.
More recently, Al Ferof has provided success for connections with three consecutive third-placed finishes starting back in 2013, and Nicholls confirmed the track at Kempton should allow last years' Tingle Creek winner the ability to stay the distance.
"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," said Nicholls.
Since victory in the Christy Chase on Saturday, Politologue has been smashed into as short as 7/1 with several firms for the King George, after Might Bite's disappointment in the Betfair left the market wide open.