Joe Tizzard is confident Eldorado Allen “will run a big race” in the Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton Park on Saturday.
The eight-year-old, who won the Haldon Gold Cup on his seasonal debut at Exeter, beating the subsequent Tingle Creek Chase one-two Greaneteen and Hitman, is one of a quality quartet in the extended two-and-a-half-mile Grade Two event.
Though beaten next time when upped in trip for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, the John Romans and Terry Warner-owned Eldorado Allen has been pleasing trainer Colin Tizzard and connections have no doubts he will stay the trip.
Tizzard junior said: “He got the trip really well at Huntingdon last time.
“He missed one down the back which cost him ground at a crucial time and he stayed on really nicely.
“We tried him over that trip for the first time and he got the trip all right.
“I’m quite looking forward to running him in a small field tomorrow and I think he will run a big race.
“All the other trainers are bound to fancy their chances – it is one of those races. I think we have got as good a chance as any and it wouldn’t be a surprise if any one of them won.
“He is in good form, the trip is ideal for him and I think he’ll like Kempton.
“That form of his run at Exeter, when he beat Hitman, means he’s got a 6lb penalty, but that form stacks up really well as Hitman went on to finish second (to Greaneteen) in the Tingle Creek and I think this is the perfect race for him.”
Hitman and Greaneteen’s trainer, Paul Nicholls, saddles Rouge Vif, who makes only his second start for the Ditcheat yard after his arrival from Harry Whittington.
The 2020 Arkle third was last of four in a Grade Two contest over two miles at Cheltenham on his stable debut, and Nicholls feels the step up in trip will put him in a better light.
He said: “We’ve only run him once, but he was fourth in a good race at Cheltenham. Bryony (Frost) said he was flat out most of the way last time and that he wants two and a half (miles).
“He ran a hell of a good race but he was just done for a bit of toe, so two and a half miles should suit him better. We hope on Saturday that he can give a good account of himself.”
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Pulled up on his seasonal bow in the three-mile King George VI Chase on his first run for 246 days, the Seven Barrows handler is hopeful the ground will not be a detriment to the James and Jean Potter-owned eight-year-old.
Henderson said: “The race is actually made for him, but I just hope the ground isn’t too tacky. Otherwise two and half miles around Kempton is absolutely perfect for him.
“He has only had the one run this year, in the King George, and I won’t say he didn’t stay.
“It was his first run since the last day of last season when he got beaten a neck by Frodon at Sandown (in the Grade Two Oaksey Chase). So, he was entitled to need the run and he probably did just need it.
“We are coming back to his optimum distance here. We were trying to see if he stayed three miles – he probably might do, I don’t think it was a lack of stamina last time. He’d run a good race until three out on the bend.
“This is ideal as long as it is not tacky old ground, as he won’t enjoy it.”
Completing the line-up is Defi Du Seuil, winner of six of his 13 chases, his last coming two years ago in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
He has had just four subsequent starts and the JP McManus-owned nine-year-old was well held in a Grade Two contest at Ascot won by Lostintranslation in November on his first run for 301 days.
His trainer, Philip Hobbs, feels he will be all the sharper for that outing.
He said: “He seems in very good form and I think we have the right conditions – two and a half miles and softish ground. So, hopefully he has got a good chance.
“Obviously he was disappointing last time, but hopefully now we are in the right place.”