Silviniaco Conti is primed and ready
Paul Nicholls believes Silviniaco Conti is primed and better than ever ahead of his bid for Gold Cup success at Cheltenham next month.
The Ditcheat inmate has shown tremendous promise this season, winning at Haydock in November before storming to King George success at Kempton under a confident front-running ride from Noel Fehily.
Nicholls says Silviniaco Conti, 3/1 to win the Gold Cup, is in good form ahead of the festival.
Something he wasn’t doing last year was finishing strongly.
“He looks way better than he did this time last year and he’s in good order,” he said. “I thought when he won the King George that was probably a career-best. He made the running and galloped on really strongly.”
Silviniaco Conti has failed in two previous bids to win the Gold Cup. He fell when travelling strongly two years ago and last year he jumped the final fence in the lead but ran around on the run-in and lost out in a swamped finish.
Nicholls believes the minor problems that contributed to that failure to get up the Cheltenham hill 12 months ago are now behind the nine-year-old.
“Something he wasn’t doing last year was finishing strongly. So we sorted out his gastric ulcers and the cheekpieces have got him jumping sharper,” Nicholls added. “He looks fantastic in his skin and we’ve just got to get through the next ten days.”
Barry Geraghty has also plenty to look forward to as the countdown to the Cheltenham Festival intensifies.
The opening day of Cheltenham 2015 is now less than two weeks away and Geraghty was at Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows yard this week putting some of the leading Cheltenham contenders through their paces.
Vyta Du Roc has been victorious on four of his five starts for Henderson since arriving from France and Geraghty is hopeful of another big showing in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, for which the six-year-old is currently available at 14/1.
He has form on better ground and felt great.
“He is a horse I am looking forward to partnering in the Albert Bartlett, which will be his first try over three miles having chased home Parlour Games in the Challow Hurdle. He has form on better ground and felt great,” Geraghty declared in his latest blog.
Vyta Du Roc won his first three races in Britain over two miles, including at Cheltenham in November. He was then stepped up to 2m 4f at Sandown in December where he earned a game success over Shantou Bob.
He met his only defeat at Newbury later in December when edged out by the John Ferguson trained Parlour Games in the Grade One Challow Novices’ Hurdle over 2m 5f. Henderson has since ear-marked a step up in trip for a tilt at the Albert Bartlett.
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