CHAMPION TRAINER Paul Nicholls has confirmed top steeplechaser Silviniaco Conti’s participation in Saturday’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby after revealing that stablemate Rocky Creek will instead head to Down Royal on the same afternoon.
Silviniaco Conti was successful in the West Yorkshire highlight two years ago for Nicholls and will bid to regain his crown ahead of a likely bid to do the same in the Betfair Chase at Haydock next month.
Rocky Creek, not seen in competitive action since finishing fifth in the Grand National, is also entered in West Yorkshire, but will instead head to Northern Ireland for the Grade One JNwine.com Champion Chase.
Speaking at Taunton yesterday, Nicholls said: “Silviniaco Conti is going to run. He does like good ground, he worked well this morning and he’s got to start somewhere. I’ll probably run one other up there (at Wetherby), Solar Impulse, who also likes decent ground.
“Rocky Creek is in good form. He’s one of those horses that is a little bit in no man’s land as he’s got a high handicap mark and up until now he hasn’t been a Grade One horse, but this is the sort of race you can run in early doors before the real stars start running to their very best form.”
Irish raider First Lieutenant is, however, set to miss the race.