After a drab week of racing all and all, it was a relief to have some stronger cards at Ascot and Haydock. The rain well and truly fell in Merseyside, creating some horribly demanding conditions in Haydock with some horses lapping it up, and others clearly not. Politologue was one that thrived in the mud and Paul Nicholls believes his novice could be very smart over the fences. It leaves tomorrow’s G1 chase even more up in the air and a couple of the big guns will be praying for no more rain. At Ascot, Nicky Henderson had a terrific outing with a quickfire double courtesy of Different Gravey and Thomas Campbell – with both really on the rise and looking set for a big campaign this winter.
1 35 DIFFERENT GRAVEY (N Henderson) EVS, C3 Beginner’s Chase, 2M3F, Good To Soft (Soft in Places)
It would be easy to disregard this as a nothing race and force Different Gravey to prove himself next time out instead, but the small field still packed a solid punch. The top three in the market all had solid form claims heading into Ascot – over hurdles and fences – and if Hell’s Kitchen can be taught that he’s not a 5F sprinter he too could prove a very handy horse. The jumping wasn’t perfect from Henderson’s 6YO, but it is a solid base to move forwards from nonetheless. Plenty of options lie ahead; he has bundles of speed but looked as if another lap was on the cards when breezing clear over the last. Whilst 12/1 may be slightly premature for the JLT, connections had originally eyed up the RSA and are now left with a problem many trainers can only dream of.