Kempton's feature race on Saturday is the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase, named after Paul Nicholls' multiple Grade 1 winner. The four-runner field has been thorughly analysed by our experts, while you can also claim 888 Sport's new customer sign-up offer of Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets + a £10 Casino Bonus.
Although he is a relatively stout stayer at two miles, any step up to 2m 4f has failed to bring success so far for ELDORADO ALLEN.
His form over fences is mixed, but he is a horse who has been well-placed by Colin Tizzard. He was a Grade 2 winner in the November Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in 2020, while he also chased home Shishkin for some useful prize money on two occasions last term.
The peak of his efforts arguably came on his return, where he won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, defeating the now Tingle Creek runner-up Hitman off level weights. It is collateral form that is very useful and suggests he is up to winning in open Graded company again.
However, as mentioned previously, this intermediate trip has not worked for him yet, as he was well beaten by Protektorat at Aintree and never really featured in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon. This is a select field here though and it did not seem to be stamina that caught him out last time.
There is no doubt that MISTER FISHER is still very capable on his day, but he has now failed to complete in four of his last six starts.
He most recently pulled up in the King George, though he has never been at his best on his seasonal return, as evidenced by him also having pulled up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in the same circumstances last season.
He benefited from the Peterborough Chase’s switch to Cheltenham last term for his only open Graded victory to date and connections will feel he should have won the Oaksey Chase at Sandown in April too, only to be outbattled by Frodon.
However, that Peterborough Chase success points to the most appealing factor of Mister Fisher’s appearance here: he has won his second start of the season in all three seasons over obstacles. This is obviously far easier than the King George and conditions look set to be close to optimum.
Despite not having won for almost two years, DEFI DU SEUIL was still sent off favourite for the 1965 Chase at Ascot on his comeback, largely due to the high level of back form he has.
The days of him winning Grade 1s now look very far in the past despite him having only just turned nine and though he has made one comeback from a loss of form in his career, it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will do so again.
He was only fourth in the aforementioned 1965 Chase, but he has been fully tuned up in the past for his seasonal return. It was his first run after wind surgery, so he does have fair potential to improve, but even in receipt of 6lb, he is simply not the force of old and cannot be backed with any confidence.
Ironically, Paul Nicholls did not win any of the first six runnings of the race, but as soon as it was named after his two-time King George winner in 2020, he is undefeated.
First Frodon, then Master Tommytucker, have claimed back-to-back runnings of this race and ROUGE VIF is his entrant as he looks for the hat-trick.
A winner over Nube Negra as a novice in Warwick’s Grade 2 Kingmaker Chase, former trainer Harry Whittingon would have been forgiven for being carried away when he won comprehensively in a Cheltenham handicap at the beginning of last season. However, open company at the top level proved a step too far and his first run for Nicholls lacked any spark in the Shloer Chase.
Prior to this season, he had won his last two starts when opening his account for the season, so it is a worry that he was so poor this time. This will also be his second run after wind surgery, but there is enough for him to prove for now.
Big Race Verdict
This is an uninspiring Grade 2, with the two under 6lb penalties making more appeal than Defi Du Seuil and Rouge Vif, for whom there are too many questions to answer. MISTER FISHER edges the verdict, as he has won second time out in all three seasons over obstacles and should be a totally different horse to the one pulled up in the King George. His trainer Nicky Henderson has won the race three times, more than any other handler. Eldorado Allen is the danger and looks to have been well placed again by Colin Tizzard.
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