Silviniaco Conti cut for National after Ascot success

Silviniaco Conti bounced back to something like his best to win the Betfair Ascot Chase for Paul Nicholls.
Silviniaco Conti cut for National after Ascot success

Dogged by problems and below his best in the first half of the season, he was fitted with blinkers for the first time as he dropped back in trip to two miles and five furlongs.

From a long way out only Royal Regatta looked like putting up some sort of a fight, but Silviniaco Conti, who was sent off the 2-1 favourite, outclassed his rivals.

Jumping well and travelling sweetly, he looked a much happier horse than when pulled up in the King George.

Noel Fehily sent him on three fences from home and he eased past Royal Regatta to win his seventh Grade One by 20 lengths. Dynaste also showed more than he has of late, staying on to snatch second from Royal Regatta.

Paddy Power cut the winner to 20-1 from 33s for the Grand National.

Fehily said “ It’s great to get him back, well done to Paul and his team, a great training performance.

“I thought we’d gone a good gallop and I wanted to make sure he galloped through the line today, which he hadn’t been doing. The blinkers didn’t do any harm, he jumped much better today, certainly better than at Haydock.”

Nicholls said: “I was mortified after the King George, I couldn’t believe how badly he ran.

“He was pain free today, blinkers were the right thing, the ground was right and he was back to his best.

“When he’s right he’s a very good horse, you have to be to win seven Grade Ones. When he’s right he’s very good, but we’ve struggled all season. The problems he’s had have been incredible.

"I knew he was coming right but I thought another fortnight might have done him good, but he was very fresh beforehand.

“He won’t run in the World Hurdle, it will either be the National or the Bowl that he’s won for the past few years.”

Yala Enki demonstrated the best of his battling abilities with a tenacious victory from the front in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.

Dropped back into novice company having finished third in a Grade Three handicap at Sandown last time out, the 7-4 favourite bravely held at bay his four rivals to register a third win of the campaign.

Winning trainer Venetia Williams said: “He won’t run before Cheltenham, but whether he runs there depends on the ground. He probably wants further than that as that is the shortest distance he has run over all season, but we have to take the opportunities when they come.”

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