Another day, another race. Silviniaco Conti, only third behind Cue Card when the pair met in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, took glorious revenge yesterday in the second of the domestic season’s four top-level staying chases, the King George VI Chase at Kempton. And the seven-year-old’s three-and-a-half-length defeat of his rival has sent him to the head of the market for the third, and most important, the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.
Conventional racing wisdom has it that speed, rather than an abundance of stamina, is the most important attribute in a potential King George VI Chase winner, hence the proliferation of specialists over shorter distances than three miles lining up at Kempton on Boxing Day.
While At Fishers Cross and Reve De Sivola do battle for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot today, one cannot get away from the sense that the most significant action in their staying hurdlers’ category took place in a training spin at Exeter on Thursday.
The words “black ice” send a shudder through the average motorist. In St Moritz, Switzerland, over the past few weeks, however, black ice has been the cause of excitement.
The New One, part of a new wave of top-class young hurdlers threatening to swamp the reigning champion, Hurricane Fly, at the Cheltenham Festival next March, will have his credentials properly examined by a high-class yardstick, Zarkandar, in today’s International Hurdle.
However, Alex Horne warns against complacency on the issue
Talks called after six people were arrested during the investigation
'Alex saying it doesn’t mean it’s the truth' says former captain
For champion trainer Nicky Henderson, the season started in earnest yesterday as the rather dull, by his standards, opening to the defence of his title came to a decisive end with a sparkling big-race double. My Tent Or Yours presented satisfactory Champion Hurdle credentials in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, and less than an hour later Triolo D'Alene took the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. And there is the Seven Barrows superstar Sprinter Sacre to look forward to at Sandown on Saturday.
British Horseracing Authority confirmed that an inquiry will be held after 'further information came to light'
A roll call of the early winners of the Hennessy Gold Cup reads like a Who’s Who of steeplechasing legends: Mandarin, Taxidermist, Stalbridge Colonist, Mill House and, of course, Arkle, who twice made light of 12st 7lb in the mid-Sixties.
Players bet £30k a sitting, says former Newcastle striker, who blew £2m and had loan sharks after him
He has won 15 races and amassed total prize-money of more than three-quarters of a million pounds.
There can come a time in a young chaser’s career when everything is in place for the first big win. For Johns Spirit, Jonjo O’Neill’s attractively weighted runner in this afternoon’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, the centrepiece of Cheltenham’s three-day Open Meeting, that time is now.
The ex-TV presenter believes himself a freedom fighter for those of a certain age
Over the years Tidal Bay has drawn many less than complimentary opinions concerning his level of commitment to his vocation, but in the autumn of his career, revitalised since joining Paul Nicholls, he can now demand comparison with some of the stable's best.