Silviniaco Conti Chase 2022 Tips: Henderson to land fourth win in the race

Nicky Henderson Close Up Cheltenham

With its status growing year-on-year, the Silviniaco Conti Chase has become one of January's highlights on the racing calendar, but a disappointing field of four runners will go to post for the Kempton Park Grade 2 on Saturday. However, there could be some Cheltenham Festival clues on offer despite a small field, with the Ryanair Chase likely to be on the radar of the winner...

Nicky Henderson has trained three of the last six winners of the race, and the master of Seven Barrows will look to enhance his already impressive record in the race by saddling MISTER FISHER to victory in the contest. A sparkling winner of the Peterborough Chase back in 2020 when the race was held at Cheltenham, the eight-year-old has failed to kick on with his chasing career, so will be eager to get back to winning ways here.

Ending last season with a narrow defeat to Frodon in a Grade 2 at Sandown, Mister Fisher was handed a huge task on his seasonal reappearance, as he lined up in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. Running over three miles that day, Henderson's charge was unable to land any sort of blow and was pulled up. However, a drop back in trip this weekend should see him in a much better light, and if he can come on for that run on Boxing Day on a return to Kempton then he could well be the one they all have to beat. Around a 33/1 chance for the Ryanair Chase on March 17, Mister Fisher will most certainly be slashed in the betting for that contest if he can prevail here, and the Henderson team will feel he needs to deliver a strong performance here if he is to book his ticket to the Ryanair - a race he was pulled up in last season.

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Colin Tizzard's Eldorado Allen started the season with a fine win in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, but the eight-year-old grey failed to follow up when finishing a well beaten third in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon. A multiple winner over trips of two miles and a little bit further, Eldorado Allen has often come unstuck when stepped up to two-and-a-half miles, so Saturday's trip of 2m 4f 110 looks beyond him. A strong stayer over the minimum distance, Tizzard's charge can often just blow out in the final couple of furlongs over longer trips, and this could be the case again this weekend. Another who is 33/1 for the Ryanair Chase, Eldorado Allen is certainly best watched here.

Arguably the class horse of the race is the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil, who in his younger days stormed to victory in both the Triumph Hurdle and JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a Tingle Creek at Sandown Park. The nine-year-old JP McManus-owned star is most certainly not the force of old, but receiving 6lbs from both Mister Fisher and Eldorado Allen he has to be given the utmost respect. He's not got his head in front since beating Un De Sceaux in the 2020 Clarence House Chase at Ascot, and he was well beaten in the 1965 Chase at Ascot on his last start, but should he be able to recapture some old form then he should be far too good for his rivals. But, it's a huge if as to whether the fire still burns at its brightest.

Completing the four-strong field is the Paul Nicholls-trained Rouge Vif, who is attempting to hand the Ditcheat handler his third win in the race on the bounce, but the eight-year-old is another that has gone off the boil of late. A star performer for Harry Whittington earlier in his career, Rouge Vif's career highlight came when he roared to a Cheltenham handicap victory. But, since then the wheels have come off over two miles, and he was last of nine in the Champion Chase in March, while was last of four in the Shloer Chase back in November. Nicholls has opted to step him up in trip for this contest, but the jury is certainly out on whether he can claim the prize here.

Silviniaco Conti Chase
Mister Fisher silk

Mister Fisher

won
Cheltenham Festival Odds
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