In fact, ever since that rain-soaked day at Cheltenham a few weeks in the past I’ve been eager about penning this piece.
Occupied with 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 a good time 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, lined 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 information 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, profitable 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 in every of 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 yr.
Hurdling was by no means going to be his recreation, however he received a Listed hurdle at Exeter on his option to going chasing within the autumn of 2016.
It might be truthful 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 appeared a champion of the long run.
He was, in equity, greater than a bit unfortunate to rock up within the period of a sure Altior, who regardless of chasing valiantly on a couple of events, Guey might by no means fairly get him. I feel we’ll let him off for that.
He completed his 2017/8 marketing campaign with my private spotlight of his profession in profitable the Melling Chase, keeping 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 approach up the straight Min appeared to have his quantity however Guey on a going day was courageous and would provide you with each drop he had in the event you requested him for it.
He obtained away from the final barely faster and saved Min at bay. It was a special occasion and a race I’ll keep in mind him for above all of the others.
In fact, as Guey obtained a bit older he, like most, obtained a 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 at all times did.
I take with no consideration Paul’s talent to coach the thoroughbred to be at their finest on a regular basis and I’m rattling certain many individuals take with no consideration his talent at getting the very best 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 when it comes to 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 unhealthy 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 so as to get him at his finest he wanted to be contemporary and alter the best way they skilled him.
Hannah, who was using him day by day 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 pageant, 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 file 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 very important.
That might 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 tip 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 folks from all method of sports activities go on too lengthy, let their star fade and the reminiscence of their brilliance then disappears with it. A number of horses do the identical. The could bow out at a lowly assembly when they don’t seem to be half the horse they had been, working stones beneath 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 obtained 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 observe for a lot of of his races. I’ll at all times cherish these moments 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.
For my part, Politologue resonated with racing followers initially as a result of he was a beautiful gray but additionally due to his daring, front-running fashion and longevity.
That’s in an enormous half right down to the talent of his handler and Paul has completed 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 need to race.
Because it transpires, it can 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 approach around the two-mile gallop, wanting to present 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 observe.
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 might 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 beautiful horses and spend his winters with Mike and Lucy Felton close to Ditcheat going out searching and customarily having fun with a 5 star dwelling alongside a sure Huge 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 looking 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 excellent causes.
Working at Paul’s it will 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 completed that.
Everyone knows what he has given to us all and we’re eternally grateful to him for it.
Above my mattress I’ve an enormous 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 form horse and deserve a beautiful retirement.
You my good friend are a really particular horse. Go properly Guey.