Saphir Du Rheu announced himself as a top chaser in the making with a comprehensive victory in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree.
Paul Nicholls’ World Hurdle runner-up reverted to fences here and Sam Twiston-Davies had an armchair ride as he raced prominently behind pacesetter Carraig Mor and the Andy Stewart-owned six-year-old ran away with the Grade One prize to give the Ditcheat trainer his third winner of the week. Carraig Mor was second for Alan King with Irish Saint making it a Nicholls one and three.
The champion trainer said: “I’ve always thought of him as a Gold Cup horse. His two runs over hurdles did him the world of good but he’s a chaser not a hurdler. I wanted to end the season here over fences so we can progress next year.
“For a six-year-old to do that there in a Grade One having had two falls is ideal. After yesterday we thought we didn’t have a Gold Cup horse for next year. We definitely have now. Silviniaco Conti won’t be entered in the Gold Cup next season whereas this fellow’s ultimate aim will be Cheltenham. I don’t know what we’ll do in between but he’d be suited by a track like Leopardstown.”
Gold Cup sponsors Betfred make him a top-price 20-1 for glory next March. Paddy Power were more impressed and quoted him at 12-1. William Hill make him 8-1 for their race, the King George, at Kempton.
Rory Jiwani 10/04/15
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