In reality, ever since that rain-soaked day at Cheltenham a few weeks in the past I’ve been enthusiastic about penning this piece.
Interested by what I can say about him, how I can describe the enjoyment he has given so many people in Ditcheat, speaking about his profession and all that he has achieved and have fun the truth that his life is way from over as his hopefully lengthy and wholesome retirement begins.
I’m after all speaking about Politologue, the fairly great Politologue who introduced the curtain down on his profession as he was warmly applauded, coated in sweat, rain water and Cheltenham mud two weeks in the past after his gallant fourth within the Champion Chase.
I really feel that the details will give some context to his profession earlier than I speak in regards to the lad himself.
Owned by the Hales household, one other well-known gray for them, I’ll always remember John’s response as Guey received his Champion Chase.
A four-time Grade 1 winner, a winner of two Tingle Creeks at Sandown, a Melling Chase, a Champion Chase, a Haldon Gold Cup, an Ascot 1965 Chase – in complete Guey ran in 31 races amassing £1,038,065 in prize cash, successful on 12 events and being out of the primary 4 on simply 4 events, two of them when the foolish bugger tripped up.
Twice he completed out of the primary 4 then and, in solely one among his races throughout a 31-race profession did he end out of the prize cash all collectively.
He joined Paul in September 2015, a twice-raced novice hurdler, purchased by Antony Bromley for the Hales household from Leenders after working out a formidable winner at Auteuil beneath James Reveley in June that 12 months.
Hurdling was by no means going to be his sport, however he received a Listed hurdle at Exeter on his method to going chasing within the autumn of 2016.
It will be honest to say he was a pure from his first begin at a muddy Haydock when Harry Cobden, then second jockey, teamed up with him and cantered spherical to beat Classic Clouds by 10 lengths.
I’m not going to chronicle his profession and speak about all his begins on this piece, I’m simply going to speak in regards to the important moments and the memorable events and goodness me, there have been lots.
Within the youthful dashing days of his first Tingle Creek, a victory which showcased his correct leaping in seeing off Fox Norton by half-a-length, he seemed a champion of the long run.
He was, in equity, greater than a little bit unfortunate to rock up within the period of a sure Altior, who regardless of chasing valiantly on a number of events, Guey may by no means fairly get him. I believe we’ll let him off for that.
He completed his 2017/8 marketing campaign with my private spotlight of his profession in successful the Melling Chase, warding off Min beneath Sam Twiston-Davies in a titanic wrestle within the straight as Townend and Sam requested their mounts for all the pieces after the final.
That win confirmed to me all the pieces that Politologue was about. Grit, willpower and a sheer will to win. The entire means up the straight Min seemed to have his quantity however Guey on a going day was courageous and would offer you each drop he had for those who requested him for it.
He acquired away from the final barely faster and saved Min at bay. It was a big day and a race I’ll bear in mind him for above all of the others.
In reality, as Guey acquired a little bit older he, like most, acquired a little bit trickier to coach, as Grade 1 racing took its toll, however what I adored about him a lot was come rain or shine each single day he would face his morning’s work with the identical love and enthusiasm as he all the time did.
I take with no consideration Paul’s ability to coach the thoroughbred to be at their greatest on a regular basis and I’m rattling certain many individuals take with no consideration his ability at getting the best possible out of all of his horses.
So maybe for me essentially the most spectacular factor about Paul’s time with Politologue was that his two profession defining performances by way of numbers got here following adversity.
Soar to December 2019 when fifth within the Tingle Creek, 18 lengths inferior to Defi Du Seuil on the day. In all honesty he by no means went in any respect.
Some thorough checks had been carried out as he merely didn’t run dangerous races and it then transpired he was bleeding.
Enter Paul and Clifford. They got here to the conclusion he was needing a change of routine, a change of plan and, after a chat with the Hales household, determined as a way to get him at his greatest he wanted to be recent and alter the best way they skilled him.
Hannah, who was using him on daily basis by then, purchased into this and collectively they set about peaking him for the Champion Chase 4 months later. And peak him they did.
Paul produced a nine-year-old who had skilled loads of onerous racing and issues by that stage to run the race of his life and have his second within the solar on the Cheltenham competition, a gathering Guey attended on six separate events.
It was the primary day Harry Skelton had teamed up with him they usually gelled completely to report a memorable success.
9 months later he went on so as to add one other Tingle Creek to his cv as soon as once more beneath Harry, his trademark leaping as soon as once more proving important.
That may be the final of Guey’s victories. He ran 4 occasions after that Sandown success, working with credit score, however in the direction of the top it was clear that though the keenness was not waning, that little bit of tempo and brilliance he as soon as possessed had now abandoned him.
Many sports activities individuals from all method of sports activities go on too lengthy, let their star fade and the reminiscence of their brilliance then disappears with it. Plenty of horses do the identical. The might bow out at a lowly assembly when they aren’t half the horse they had been, working stones under what the figures they as soon as proudly recorded.
Paul and the Hales household had been adamant that was not for Guey and I believed it was becoming he acquired to carry out his final act on the largest nationwide hunt stage of all of them.
For many of his profession Politologue used to get extraordinarily excited and doubtless a bit nervous earlier than his races so I had the pleasure of main him out onto the monitor for a lot of of his races. I’ll all the time cherish these moments taking a look at him in spite of everything these Grade 1 battles he’d been in nonetheless relishing the problem of getting on the market and giving his all.
In my view, Politologue resonated with racing followers initially as a result of he was a beautiful gray but in addition due to his daring, front-running type and longevity.
That’s in an enormous half right down to the ability of his handler and Paul has achieved an impressive job with him.
I additionally assume it’s right down to him that for all of the onerous races Guey had, for all of the occasions he was crushed by extra gifted horses, till the day he retired he retained each little bit of his love and want to race.
Because it transpires, it’ll in all probability find yourself being the final time I ever sat on him, however round two weeks earlier than Cheltenham Paul let me have a sit on him to gallop Guey round Wincanton.
Surrounded by youthful horses who now possessed extra tempo than him, I smirked as he pulled the entire means around the two-mile gallop, wanting to provide you greater than you wanted.
“No matter you do late on within the gallop take care of him, don’t give him a tough time,” had been Paul’s final remarks to me as I headed out to the monitor.
It was much more admirable then that even because the youthful horses quickened away from him within the final furlong or so of the gallop he chased them as onerous as he may with out me asking him to.
He was a particular horse that attempted his coronary heart out.
Fortunately, due to the boss and the Hales household, Politilogue will retire in good well being and simply as importantly good coronary heart.
He’ll spend the summers with the Hales household again with Lisa together with the remainder of their pretty horses and spend his winters with Mike and Lucy Felton close to Ditcheat going out searching and usually having fun with a 5 star dwelling alongside a sure Large Bucks.
And my goodness don’t you deserve it previous boy.
The entrance yard is not going to be the identical with out his good-looking head searching from field quantity two. However everybody’s life that was fortunate sufficient to be intwined together with his is not going to be the identical both for a mess of fine causes.
Working at Paul’s it could be forgiven to often take with no consideration what particular horses we work with, however everybody who has labored with Guey has by no means achieved that.
Everyone knows what he has given to us all and we’re eternally grateful to him for it.
Above my mattress I’ve a giant image of me and him strolling into the yard after a routine day of coaching. I smile at that image commonly. How fortunate was I.
So Politologue, thanks. Thanks for attempting so onerous, for giving a lot and for being so good. You’re a splendidly type horse and deserve a beautiful retirement.
You my buddy are a really particular horse. Go properly Guey.