Cheltenham should pose no problems for Silviniaco Conti

21:58 21 February 2013

Silviniaco Conti is paraded during the visit to Paul Nicholls Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Silviniaco Conti is paraded during the visit to Paul Nicholls Manor Farm Stables, Ditcheat. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news

Paul Nicholls has rebuffed claims that Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Silviniaco Conti cannot win this year’s showpiece because of a lack of winning form at the Gloucester track.

The seven-year-old - best priced at 5-1 (Paddy Power) behind Bobs Worth (3-1) and Sir Des Champs (7-2) – has been in superb form since reappearing this season with an 11 length victory in the Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in early November.

The French-bred gelding followed up with a win in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase and will go to Cheltenham unbeaten in three starts this campaign after bagging the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on February 9.

“He has done incredibly well this season,” Nicholls said. “This year he won the Charlie Hall, the Betfair Chase, from Long Run, and then the other day he had his prep race at Newbury which he won nicely.

“We had left plenty to work on and the ground was testing - I was nervous that he was going to get a bit tired but he stayed on strongly. He jumps well and I keep reading that he cannot win at Cheltenham because he has not won at Cheltenham.

“We have not avoided Cheltenham with him. He ran in The International [when finishing third at Cheltenham] over hurdles and ran incredibly well for a three-mile horse against a lot of two-milers.

“He missed the RSA last year and was never going to run in the Argento. He has been around loads of different tracks on different ground. I have always thought he wanted good ground but he has coped well with soft ground this season.

“You can ride him any way you like. We did not plan to make the running in the Betfair Chase at Haydock but Long Run did not want to go on. Ruby [Walsh] decided at the start to bowl along in front. He would be suited by a real fast end-to-end gallop where he can sit in third or fourth and use his jumping and hopefully stay on strongly.

“He has progressed nicely, done everything right and come out of Newbury well. My view is that the three novices from last season - Bob’s Worth, Silviniaco Conti and Sir Des Champs might be the three. Long Run obviously you can never rule out because he has been such a good horse.

“Any Gold Cup is hard to win, but we think we are going there with a nice chance. He is workmanlike and does the job right - we have a chance of winning.”

Related articles


Live Blog Transfer Window Live July 28

 

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest football news

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Charlie Austin of QPR celebrates (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

QPR owner Tony Fernandes has admitted he could lose his key players this summer, but only if his £15million valuation is met.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager looks on (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that three Arsenal players will not be available to face Chelsea in the Community Shield this weekend.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Ollie Palmer of Leyton Orient is congratulated on scoring the first goal by Blair Turgott (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Pre-season friendly: Woking 0 Leyton Orient 4

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Christian Doidge of Dagenham & Redbridge in action at Maidstone United (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Braintree Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Erik Lamela of Spurs looks set to be on his way out of the club. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Tottenham have agreed to loan Erik Lamela to Porto, according to reports in Portugal.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more
Get up close and personal to this global phenomenon!

Following a sell-out 2014 run, the global phenomenon that is Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is back in London, running at the Dominion Theatre in the heart of the West End until 5th September 2015.

Read more