After reflecting on the career of a former two-time King George winner in Long Run last week, it seems only fitting to do the same once again. Step forward, Silvinaco Conti.
Paul Nicholls was crowned champion trainer for a 12th time at Sandown Park on Saturday afternoon, so we reflect on one of his greatest ever runners.
While perhaps not as glamorous as the legendary Kauto Star or as brave as the battle-hardened Denman from the era of staying chasers before him, the son of Dom Alco was still a superb contender in his pomp, notching up a total of seven Grade 1’s.
He won two Betfair Chase’s, an Ascot Chase and a Bowl double, but he is maybe more regarded for his Boxing Day heroics under now-retired rider, Noel Fehily, that will live long in the memory for his band of loyal followers.
Having finished second in the Feltham (now Kauto Star) as a novice, the Ditcheat contender missed the 2012 renewal of the Christmas Festival but bounced back in open company on his King George debut, running down long-time leader, Cue Card.
12 months on, the result would be the same as the well-backed 15/8 shot claimed successive festive top-level victories in Surrey under his usual pilot and extend his handler’s remarkable record in the race.
He would run at the track twice thereafter, finishing second over hurdles before pulling up in the 2015 renewal of the bank holiday showpiece.
His last victory would arrive in the Ascot Chase five years ago when he sauntered clear of the field in Berkshire before a stint at the Grand National.