William Hill King George VI Chase
Grade 1, Kempton Park
£200,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1
Friday 26th December 2014

William Hill

Silviniaco Conti was named as the highest rated Chaser in Britain and Ireland in 2013-2014 in the annual Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications.

The handicappers allocated him a mark of 174 for his memorable victory in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day when he wore down the Betfair Chase winner Cue Card (172) in a thrilling contest. Subsequently Silviniaco Conti disappointed in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup but bounced back to victory in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree.

Silviniaco Conti
© Racehorse Photos
Silviniaco Conti

By winning the 2013 renewal, Silviniaco Conti gave Paul Nicholls his first William Hill King George VI Chase of the post-Kauto Star era.

Nicholls found it difficult to believe how he led over the final fence of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, yet finished out of the first three.

Speaking at Ditcheat, on September 14, he said of the highest rated chaser in training: “Silviniaco Conti didn’t quite get up the Cheltenham hill but I don’t think we had him quite right last season.”

He thinks the eight-year-old capable of better this term starting in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November, a race he took in 2012 by 11 lengths. The Gold Cup in March is again the main focus.

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Cue Card
© Racehorse Photos

Cue Card
Sep 18 Cue Card is back in training and pleasing trainer Colin Tizzard after undergoing a breathing operation.

Tizzard opted for the surgery after thinking long and hard following his star performer's weak finish that cost him victory on Boxing Day.

That proved to be his last race of the campaign as he sustained a stress fracture of the pelvis in February, which ruled the eight-year-old out of the Gold Cup.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Tizzard said: "I felt Cue Card actually had the King George won three out but coming to the second-last something happened - his head went up and I didn't think he could breathe properly because his palate was flapping and loose. Now it's been cauterized and tightened.

"It's something that has been in the back of our minds for a long time but the horse had been so brilliant we thought it disrespectful to even think about doing it.

"He had the op in August and was off for about 10 days but we're back riding him now, he's started cantering and he looks brilliant."

Cue Card is again expected to take in the Betfair Chase he won so well at Haydock in November last year, and Tizzard still harbours hopes of winning the Gold Cup.

He said: "It's everyone's dream to win a Gold Cup and that's where we were heading last season but if he were to be beaten in his first three races this season we might not be so cocky."

Oct 03 Owner Rich Ricci has confirmed dual Cheltenham Festival winner Champagne Fever is likely to test his powers over longer trips this year, with the King George VI Chase as a target.

William Hill

William Hill King George VI Chase (Grade 1)
£200,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Soft (Heavy on bend adjacent to lake)

Pos
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
SP
Distance
1
Silviniaco Conti
P F Nicholls
N Fehily
11st 10lbs
7 - 2
Winner
2
Cue Card
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 10lbs
10 - 3
3 1/2 lengths
3
Al Ferof
P F Nicholls
D A Jacob
11st 10lbs
5 - 1
11 lengths
4
Mount Benbulben
G Elliott
D E Mullins
11st 10lbs
20 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
5
Dynaste
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 10lbs
10 - 3
30 lengths
UR
Champion Court
M Keighley
Ian Popham
11st 10lbs
33 - 1
UR
Long Run
N J Henderson
Mr S Waley-Cohen
11st 10lbs
8 - 1
PU
Menorah
P J Hobbs
R Johnson
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
UR
Riverside Theatre
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 10lbs
20 - 1
       

William Hill

William Hill