Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nicholls' Star to Be Master of the Hall

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nicholls' Star to Be Master of the Hall

Article excerpt

SILVINIACO CONTI kicks off his campaign in the Grade 2 Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetheby today.

Paul Nicholls' charge is one of the finest staying chasers in the UK and landed the King George and Betfair Bowl last term.

The eight-year-old also has an impressive record on his seasonal debut and took this 3m 1f contest back in 2012.

Furthermore, he will thrive on the good ground and he has had a superb record over the years in the month of November.

His main rival is Taquin Du Seuil who showed his class by landing last season's JLT Novices' Chase at the Festival.

However, Uxizandre failed to boost that form when flopping in the Old Roan at Aintree.

Taquin Du Seuil was also very disappointing when third on his seasonal debut at Newton Abbot and needs to jump better.

He is still a major contender on his best form but may just struggle to cope with the likely searching pace.

However, Jonjo O'Neill knows the time of day and his decision to run him in today's race is not to be dismissed.

Medermit was not at his best last term but was just back from a long spell on the sidelines.

Alan King has had plenty of time to prepare him for today and an injury-free season could see him return to his best.

Philip Hobbs is thriving at present but his runner Menorah looks held by Silviniaco Conti on all known form.

The Giant Bolster has shown all his best form at Cheltenham and is yet to run at Wetherby.

However, he always goes well in top company and tends to win when it is least expected.

In conclusion, Silviniaco Conti has everything in his favour and should give Team Ditcheat their fourth Charlie Hall success.

The West Yorkshire Hurdle is likely to be a very tactical contest with just three declared.

Cole Harden was a terrific second behind Beat That in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree back in April.

His handler Warren Greatrex has a great record at Wetherby and he can give At Fishers Cross a few problems. …

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