Paul Nicholls says Silviniaco Conti could be a future Grand National contender after his win in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree on Thursday.
The nine-year-old disappointed again in last month’s Gold Cup but, like last year, he bounced back to win the Betfred Bowl under a positive ride from Noel Fehily. David Pipe’s Ballynagour produced a career-best to finish just a head behind in second with Holywell third.
Nicholls said of his winning 7-4 favourite, “Perhaps he’s the wrong type of horse for Cheltenham. He’s not the same model as Denman or Kauto Star who were big strong horses. He’s on the smaller side and it probably just doesn’t suit him whereas on a flat track like this his jumping counts for so much so I suspect we’ll just keep him to these tracks from now on.
“Noel’s given him a super ride, one of his best rides ever I’d say. He’s won by a neck but there’s plenty in the tank because you just know he’ll keep on galloping and jumping. His jumping was spectacular today. He’s the sort of horse who could end up like Neptune Collonges, when he’s 11, running in the National. We’ve always thought he might have an entry one day, whether it’s next year or the year after, but he could be a right horse to run in the National.
“I would say the Gold Cup’s not a priority anymore. We’ll see what the lads say but we can win so many good races around so we’ll have to find something else for that race.”
Betway have priced him up at 14-1 to win the Grand National before May 1st 2018. For next year’s race, StanJames and Boylesports make him a 25-1 chance with William Hill going 20-1 and Coral standing out at 33-1.
Rory Jiwani 09/04/15