Politologue gave Paul Nicholls a record 11th victory when leading home a one-two for the Ditcheat trainer in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Altior's absence may have taken away some of the gloss from the two-mile Grade One showpiece - but there was no doubting the quality of Politologue's performance in the hands of Harry Skelton.
The John Hales-owned grey was last seen causing an upset in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, but there was no surprise about this victory.
In front from flag-fall, Politologue was not concerned by the proximity of Rouge Vif and managed to ward off that rival. It was then left to Nicholls' other runner Greaneteen to put it up to his stablemate but, try as he might, Politologue (11-8 favourite) was too strong.
The nine-year-old crossed the line seven lengths clear to give Skelton a Grade One double after Allmankind's exhilarating display in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase.
Irish challenger Castlegrace Paddy was placed fourth for trainer Pat Fahy.
Politologue was cut to 8-1 from 14-1 to win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham for a second time with Coral, and to 6-1 from 20-1 with Betfair.