JLT Melling Chase
|Grade 1, Aintree 15:25
2m 3f 200y, Class 1
|Friday 13th April 2018
1 Politologue 11/1
2 Min 11/10F
3 Sizing Granite 20/1
6 ran Distances: nk, 20l, 13l
Time: 5m 18.50s (slow by 30.50s)
Politologue wins the Melling Chase from Min!
The Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue landed a thrilling renewal under Sam Twiston-Davies, getting the better of favourite Min, trained by Willie Mullins.
The seven-year-old grey son of Poliglote kept on tenaciously in the closing stages to score by a neck.
Politologue finished fourth in the Betway Queen Mother Champion
over two miles at the Cheltenham Festival, but enjoyed the step up to two miles and four furlongs in today's contest.
Twiston-Davies said: "We put the hood back on Politologue today which really helped. His best form has come on flat tracks, but he did relax today which allows him to be capable of big performances like this today.
"He jumped fantastic and got in a great rhythm. He has done all the hard work - I just sat here and pushed at the end.
"It's great to be involved and it's nice when Paul's yard is in a transition phase to have a Grade One winner.
"It's amazing to come here and get on the board.
"Winning a Grade One is massive and it's hard to sum up how I'm feeling as we came in as an underdog, which makes it even better.
"We met the last on a nice stride and he was very tough. We fought on well and he was very brave all the way to the line.
"At that stage [when a horse comes upside], it is always hard. You think if you can wing the last, you might able to get away from them and have a chance again, but when something is travelling like that, you are always concerned.
"The one thing about this fella is that he does try very hard and that does help in these conditions.
"I needed that, I'll tell you that for free. It has been a trying time. Everyone knows Paul is trying to rebuild to get the new stars coming up and through. At the end of the day, I was injured for a bit of it, so I missed the opportunity on a few, then I got a few decisions wrong and gave a few horses not so great rides along the way, but these ones make it all worthwhile."
Betfred Melling Chase
£250,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 3f 200y, Class 1
||Politologue (FR) 11/1
|P F Nicholls
||Min (FR) 11/10f
|W P Mullins
||Sizing Granite (IRE) 20/1
||R M Power
|C L Tizzard
||Balko Des Flos (FR) 2/1
||D N Russell
|H de Bromhead
||Cloudy Dream (IRE) 10/1
||Le Prezien (FR) 11/1
||B J Geraghty
|P F Nicholls
Melling Chase - Previous Winners
2017 Fox Norton
2016 God's Own
2015 Don Cossack
2014 Boston Bob
2013 Sprinter Sacre Caroline Mould Nicky Henderson 07-11-10 Barry Geraghty 1/3F
2012 Finian’s Rainbow Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson 09-11-10 Barry Geraghty 13/8F
2011 Master Minded Clive Smith Paul Nicholls 08-11-10 Ruby Walsh 11/2