Silviniaco Conti has been the focus of a lot of market support in the last week, but his price of 11/10 to win the Charlie Hall Chase may be a little on the skinny side.
The fact that Ruby Walsh is heading to Wetherby to take the ride rather than to Ascot is a solid sign of how highly his chances are rated and there are even rumours that he is a dark horse for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
He almost certainly must win this if this speculation has any chance of becoming a reality and the consensus is that Silviniaco Conti has grown in size over the summer.
This is significant given one of the main criticisms previously thrown at the horse was his lack of size.
Meanwhile, the flatter track at Wetherby should play to Silviniaco Conti’s strengths and it was hard not to be impressed with his success on his final start of last season when winning the Sefton Novices’ Chase at Aintree.
However, punters have to look back to 1982 to find the last time a horse aged six or younger won the Charlie Hall Chase and it has been a race dominated by eight-year-old entrants in recent years.
This age group has triumphed in four of the last six renewals and is headed by Time For Rupert, who is bidding to go one better than last year when taking second behind Weird Al.
Time For Rupert is 4/1 to win the Charlie Hall Chase and is previously twice a winner over 3m on soft ground.
Furthermore, his form last year was respectable, finishing within ten lengths of Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
This run alone suggests he should beat Midnight Chase again, while it is hard to get excited over the chances of Planet Of Sound bearing in mind he has gone over two years without a victory.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date