Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 27th 2014 Contents A57
Saturday, December 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Paul Nicholls tightened his
stranglehold on the William Hill
King George VI Chase when 15-8
favourite Silviniaco Conti provided
him with a record ninth success
in the Boxing Day feature at Kemp-
Following up his success in the
2013 renewal, Noel Fehily s mount
made every yard of the running to
score by four and a half lengths and
five from Dynaste and stablemate
Nicholls and Fehily pulled off a
carefully constructed plan to make
best use of their charge s assured
stamina and improved concentra-
tion gained from the application of
a pair of cheekpieces.
The eight-year-old was cut into
5-2 favourite (from 6-1) for the
Cheltenham Gold Cup by Lad-
brokes, while Hills make the
Ditcheat gelding 4-1 market leader
(from 7-1), a price shared by Paddy
Power about a race in which he fin-
ished fourth last year.
To rapturous applause, the com-
bination never looked like being
reeled in, as Dynaste stayed on
strongly for second.
Nicholls said: "It s all a bit surreal.
Things weren t going well (on the
day), but Conti got us out of trou-
"He jumps and he gallops and
we kept it simple. I knew he would
gallop and stay and we decided to
make it a proper test of stamina.
The cheekpieces have helped him,
he can be a bit lazy and they have
really woken him up." Nicholls com-
pared Silvianaco Conti to one of
his previous King George victors,
See More Business.
He said: "See More Business won
the King George twice and went on
to win a Gold Cup and I hope this
fellow can go on and put the big
one on his CV.
"When he jumped the last in
front I was astounded he didn t go
on and win last season s Gold Cup,
but then after he ran at Aintree we
found he had gastric ulcers.
"In fact there were various things
we had to iron out and put right
last year and the result is that he s
come back a stronger and better
horse. "I felt he needed the cheek-
pieces to help him concentrate and
they have made a huge difference.
Today he jumped soundly and only
got tight to the one down the far
side. Otherwise he was foot-perfect.
All he needed was one kick in the
belly from Noel and he was away.
"Whether he runs again before
Cheltenham is very much unde-
cided, but all he does is stay and
the Gold Cup is his number one
"Longer term I would love to see
him come back here and give us
the magic 10 King George wins. I
can t believe how lucky we ve been
to do so well in this race and I have
to again give credit to my head lad
Nicholls added that he would
look to chart a course towards the
Queen Mother Champion Chase
with the Sam Twiston-Davies-rid-
den Al Ferof.
He said: "I ve just had a word
with John (Hales, owner) and he is
happy for me to point him at the
two-miler at Cheltenham. He just
ran out of stamina today and we
know he possesses all the toe in the
David Pipe was delighted with
Dynaste but is undecided whether
to aim the grey at the Gold Cup.
The Pond House trainer said:
"He d done plenty of work before
the Betfair Chase, so I can t say he
was fitter today.
"It was encouraging to see him
finish his race strongly, but we ll
have to take him home and see
about the Gold Cup. To be honest,
I d rather win the Ryanair than fin-
ish third in the Gold Cup."
Champagne Fever and Cue Card
both appeared to fizzle out through
lack of stamina, especially the for-
mer who was perfectly poised in
the straight if good enough.
The Philip Hobbs duo of Menorah
and Wishfull Thinking disappointed,
with Menorah making a race-ending
mistake on the far side.
Conti lands second King George
Faugheen was a hugely impres-
sive winner of the williamhill.com
Christmas Hurdle at Kempton to
strengthen his grip on the Cham-
pion Hurdle market.
Willie Mullins sent the six-year-
old over for the Grade One admitting
he was surprised at the progress his
charge had made in the last 12
Ruby Walsh was happy to track
the pacesetting Blue Heron on a track
than many thought could be too
sharp for him, having won over three
miles in heavy ground this time last
But Walsh never looked troubled
at any stage and turning into the
straight he gave his mount an inch
of rein and he shot clear.
The 4-11 favourite made a minor
blunder at the last but it did not halt
his momentum and he crossed the
line eight lengths clear of Purple Bay.
Paul Nicholls Fighting Fifth win-
ner Irving was pulled up.
Winning owner Rich Ricci said:
"That was good to watch." When
told he was the even-money
favourite for the Champion, he said:
"Is he really?
There s still Hurricane Fly and
Jezki to think about.
"It was a big test today but he was
very impressive and we re lucky to
have him, he s something else.
"He was very big at Ascot but
there s such a difference in his weight
this year, he came back in from sum-
mer much stronger.
"He s something to look forward
to, that s for sure."
"He jumped great barring the last,
but the race was over. He does not
lack speed or pace.
"He won at Punchestown and
people forget that is a fast hurdle
track, he won a two-mile novice
there so the form was there for all
"He s a very good horse and a
pleasure to ride.
"I suppose it was a big decision
in October whether it was him or
Vautour that stayed hurdling."
Faugheen was a hugely impressive winner of the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton to strengthen
his grip on the Champion Hurdle market.
Faugheen shows Christmas class
Silviniaco Conti runs his rivals
ragged in the King George at
Links Archive December 26th 2014 December 28th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page