Politologue claimed his third big-race victory of the season with a wide-margin success in the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

The Paul Nicholls-trained grey was a prohibitively priced 8-15 favourite to add to his triumphs in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and the Tingle Creek at Sandown and Sam Twiston-Davies was happy to sit in the slipstream of reigning Champion Chase hero Special Tiara for much of the two-mile contest.

Special Tiara, who was bidding for a third victory in the Grade Two, travelled and jumped with his usual exuberance before making an uncharacteristic mistake five fences from home, taking off too far away from the obstacle and paying the penalty with a crashing fall.

His exit left Politologue in a clear lead and he safely negotiated the remaining fences to seal a 13-length success.

Vaniteux finished second and Forest Bihan was last of the three finishers.

Twiston-Davies said: "First of all it's good to see Noel (Fehily) cantering back on Special Tiara.

"That's always a good thing to see and he's a legend of a horse.

"This fella has been brilliant. He's jumped and travelled. He's not the best in front but at the same time he's got the job done and he's very good in these conditions."

Nicholls said: "He doesn't do a tap in front. Obviously we thought we'd get a lead to the last (fence), but it didn't happen.

"He's done the job and it's a valuable prize."

The Ditcheat handler ruled out a potential clash with Un De Sceaux in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 20.

Nicholls said: "He can have a nice holiday now and turn up for the Game Spirit (Newbury, February 10).

"We've got one aim and that's the Champion Chase. You've got to get your horse there with the easiest route.

"You can have a nice break, go to the Game Spirit a bit underdone and then improve from there to Cheltenham. That's the plan.

"All this horse will do is improve and the better the race the better he'll be.

"The Champion Chase is a hard race to win, but I'm going into it thinking we've got a serious chance."