Top trainers target Haydock meeting

Trainer Paul Nicholls
Trainer Paul Nicholls

Top Notch is set to tackle the Altcar Novices’ Chase at Haydock on January 21.

The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old has been good over fences to date this season, winning three of his four outings.

Last time out he stepped up to two and a half miles at Ascot and he will race over that trip again in the Grade Two event.

“There is a Grade Two for Top Notch on Peter Marsh day at Haydock,” said Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

“That was his first go over that trip over fences, but we didn’t see much as it was the day of the fog.

“I think that is as far as he wants, he won’t be going any further at this stage.

“He loves soft ground so Haydock should be no bother.”

Politologue may also return to Haydock later this month to take on Top Notch in the Altcar.

The six-year-old grey made a winning start over fences at the Merseyside track in November, and backed that up in a Grade Two at Ascot last month with an exhibition round of jumping.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls said: “Politologue might go to Haydock on the 21st for the Grade Two, but there are other options as well.

“I’ve not had a chance to speak to John Hales (owner) yet, but that race is a possibility, but nothing is set in stone.

“He was at the top of his game at Ascot and he is obviously exciting. One thing he does do is jump and gallop.

“I’m in no hurry with him as he is a horse for the future.”

Politologue is as short as 8-1 in the ante-post lists for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.