Silviniaco Ripe To Complete Hat-Trick

One of the major early-season chases takes place at Haydock on Saturday courtesy of the Betfair Chase over 3m (3.00), where Silviniaco Conti (11/10) bids to win the race for a third time.

Conti Cherry-Ripe For Third Win
Successful in 2012 and then 12 months ago, Paul Nicholls’ 9yo has once again been given a prep race for Saturday when runner-up over hurdles a few weeks ago. That outing would have put him spot-on for this prize, just as it did in 2012 and 2014, in comparison to when he lost here in 2013 when making his seasonal return.

Clearly, Paul Nicholls has learned that Silviniaco Conti needs a recent run to be at his best and he’ll need to be if beating the likes Dynaste (10l back in third) and Cue Card (another 2l away in fourth), as he did here 12 months ago.

It’s also worth noting that Silviniaco Conti is officially rated 172, making him the only runner above 168, which has been the benchmark in this during its 10-year history.

Betfair Chase Trends
Of the last 10 winners…
9 won during their last three outings
8 were officially rated 168 or higher
7 arrived via Aintree or Wetherby
7 ran in a Grade 2 event last time
P Nicholls won it 6 times

Card On Cue Following Wetherby
The above trends show that those who arrived via Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase (3m, soft) last time did well here, and that’s exactly what Cue Card (11/4) did, having won that race three weeks ago.

It was a victory that showed Cue Card’s wellbeing, and he’ll be looking to repeat his victory in the 2013 Betfair Chase.

Pipe’s Pair Full Of Promise
David Pipe’s Dynaste (8/1), was under 3l behind Cue Card at Wetherby, and will be back to try and win this race at the third attempt on Saturday, having been beaten 10l last year, and over 4l by Cue Card in 2013. On those formlines, Dynaste will need to pull out more if winning, but he still makes each-way appeal.

Dynaste’s stablemate, Ballynagour (8/1), also made his return at Wetherby when 4l away in third, and was only beaten a head by Silviniaco Conti at Aintree in April (3m1f, good to soft). There is still a question as to whether Ballynagour stays 3m in the mud, but Saturday will reveal all.

Holy To Go Well If Rain Eases
One who does stay every inch of this 3m trip is Jonjo O’Neill’s Holywell (16/1), beaten 23l at Wetherby behind Cue Card, but fourth (beaten 10l) in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup (3m2f). It’s likely the soft ground didn’t suit on that reappearance at Wetherby, but any drying of the ground at Haydock would be in Holywell’s favour.

Recommended Bets
A cracking renewal in store, and one in which Silviniaco Conti can win for a third time. Only fitness was against him here in 2013, but he will be cherry-ripe on Saturday and punters may be tempted into making 80% profit upon investment at odds of 4/5.

*Prices correct at time of publication.