Silviniaco Conti is 6/4 favourite to win the Charlie Hall Chase for a second time, having announced himself as one of the finest stayers around with victory in the 2012 running.
However, the Wetherby contest has seldom gone the way of the top-flight establishment of late, meaning there could well be mileage in opposing him.
The penalty structure in place for the race means that past winners of Class 1 weight-for-age-contests must give up to 10lbs to rivals with less glittering CVs.
It’s a task that has proved beyond all bar one of the 13 sorts who have attempted it in the past decade, with Silviniaco Conti carrying 11st5lb two seasons ago.
David Pipe’s Our Vic, a two-time Grade-1-winning fencer was the sole exception.
In the context of this year’s running, it means Paul Nicholls’ King George winner must give 10lbs to some handy adversaries.
Chief among them may be Mouse Morris’ heroic trier First Lieutenant, who beat the grey over the Charlie Hall trip off level weights in the 2012 Totesport Bowl at Aintree.
Also receiving 10lbs from the market leader is Hilary Parrot’s Wayward Prince, who seems sure to give the each-way thieves a bang for their bucks at 25/1, having collected the silver medal for the last two runnings.
However, those carrying between 11st3lbs and 11st6lbs have provided the greatest amount of winners during the past ten years, albeit from the majority of runners (33/70).
In this category the Jewson Novices Chase winner Taquin De Seuil stands out at 5/1.
A second-season chaser coming into this off the back of an estimably consistent rookie year, Jonjo O’Neill’s type has been mooted as a potential Gold Cup horse with even greater relish than the same trainer’s Holywell by the boss of Jackdaws Castle.
Given the latter currently shares the yolk of 8/1 favouritism for the stayers’ blue riband, it’s fair to stay there’s no need to be dubious about Taquin De Seuil’s stamina for all this is the seven-year-old’s first foray beyond an extended 2m5f.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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