Silviniaco Conti: Charlie Hall Chase favourite all the rage in bettingPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Silviniaco Conti into 5-2 for Charlie Hall glory
SILVINIACO CONTI, an impressive winner at Aintree last spring, has been heavily supported to make a winning seasonal reappearance in Saturday's Grade 2 Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old tumbled in price from a top quote of 7-2 on Tuesday morning and is now generally 5-2 favourite, with the sponsors forecasting he will shorten still further in the run-up to the big race.
Pat Cooney, head trader for Bet365, said: "Silviniaco Conti
was 3-1 when we opened our book, and he has been backed to the exclusion of everything else, down to 5-2.
"I think the punters have seen Ruby Walsh by his name, and realised that he could have gone to Ascot for any number of good rides, yet is going all the way north for Silviniaco Conti.
"When Nicholls and Walsh combine in the feature race on a Saturday it often spells disaster for bookmakers. We have big liabilities on the horse at the moment, and I can only see them increasing as the week goes on. Punters remember Silviniaco Conti being very heavily backed at Aintree, and I am sure his price will shorten again."
Among his rivals on Saturday will be Diamond Harry who was well fancied for the race last year when ruled out on the day.
Jane Williams, wife of his trainer Nick, said: "He's got more excuses than any schoolboy with his homework but he is well and we are happy with him at the moment.
"He is very big and very fragile but on the course he is a magnificent horse. I think we have ironed out most of his problems unless he has found a new one!"