Haydock preview: Betfair Chase (15.00)
David Metcalf | November 20, 2015
Silviniaco Conti looks a worthy red-hot favourite to land a third Betfair Chase at Haydock (15.00), and further enhance trainer Paul Nicholl’s superb record in the 3m Grade 1 contest.
The Ditcheat handler has won the race a record six times, with the brilliant Kauto Star notching four of those success.
In Silviniaco Conti he has a chaser of the highest order, who won the race in 2012 and 2014, and comes into this year’s renewal on the back of a highly promising reappearance when runner-up over hurdles at Kempton.
Conti can continue Nicholls’ strong race record
The nine-year-old raced with plenty of zest at the head of affairs until getting headed and outpaced two from home.
Silviniaco Conti then rallied strongly in the closing stages to go down by four lengths to Brother Tedd, and it was an effort which should have blown away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this.
Nicholls reports that he has thrived since that run, and the testing underfoot conditions will certainly be in Silviniaco Conti’s favour.
The gelding is an out-and-out stayer who is ideally suited by a flat galloping track, and I can see him being ridden prominently and grinding his four rivals into submission.
Cue Card could cause problems
Cue Card, who won the race in 2013, looks the obvious one to give Silviniaco Conti most to think about.
Cue Card jumped well and race prominently until taking up the running at the fourth last, and after idling approaching the final fence pulled out extra on the run-in to win going away by 3 3/4 lengths from Dynaste.
It was a most taking display, but Cue Card has not always been the most consistent and now needs to show that he can back that up.
Dynaste also a danger
Dynaste may well get closer to him this time, but it hard to see the David Pipe trained grey improving enough to land the spoils.
Pipe is also represented by Ballynagour who finished third in the Charlie Hall and is entitled to come on for the run, whilst the field is made up by the Jonjo O’Neill trained Holywell who came disappointing fifth in the race and looks up against it despite being better off at the weights.
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