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Training titans put records on line against Haldon Gold Cup king Eldorado Allen

Mister Fisher: should be sharper for King George outing
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Saturday: 2.05 Kempton
Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2) | 2m4½f | 5yo+ | ITV4/RTV

Paul Nicholls (twice) and Nicky Henderson (three wins) have dominated this race since 2016, with Waiting Patiently for the late Malcolm Jefferson the only horse to interfere with the two titans' run.

Both trainers are huge fans of Kempton, which, in part, explains the record and it is no surprise they are represented once again, but it is not certain either will be celebrating another victory.

The Henderson-trained Mister Fisher has long had a high reputation at Seven Barrows, but has more letters than numbers in his form of late.

However, there is little doubt he is a classy operator at his best and one of his Ps includes being pulled up in the Ryanair Chase when he tried to go with runaway winner Allaho.

He ran in Kempton's flagship race, the King George VI Chase last time, and was pulled up again, but it was his first start for 246 days and his prep had been held up by a heart problem.

Rouge Vif: joined Paul Nicholls over the summer

Connections took positives from that effort and he should have taken a step forward in fitness, although he concedes 6lb to Nicholls runner Rouge Vif, one of a handful of horses owner Andrew Brooks moved to Ditcheat over the summer from the yard of Harry Whittington.

Perhaps he has taken time to settle in and acclimatise to his new home in Somerset, from where he was a well-beaten fourth in November's Shloer Chase at Cheltenham when last seen.

However, Nicholls was far from downbeat about that display and described it as a "hell of a good" run, reasoning the eight-year-old, who has a good strike-rate, needed further than two miles, so trying 2m4½f at Kempton – a course where he has solid form – looks wise.

Moving up in trip might suit him more than Mister Fisher dropping in distance, but Haldon Gold Cup winner Eldorado Allen is also in the mix and produced a career-best on Racing Post Ratings when third in the Peterborough Chase last time.

He ought to run his race, but it is difficult to know what Defi Du Seuil, who went off 2-5 for the Champion Chase in 2020, will produce and it might require a large leap of faith to see his making an impact.


Fisher faces ideal test

Mister Fisher might not have lived up to his reputation in the King George, but has talent and this test could be the perfect place for him to showcase it.

Indeed, in Nicky Henderson's words it is the "ideal" race.

James Bowen, injured when his brother Sean rode the son of Jeremy in the King George, is back on board and has won two races on Mister Fisher.

"He ran in the King George and didn't stay because it was his first run of the season in a respectable race," said Henderson, who trains the eight-year-old for James and Jean Potter.

"Two and a half miles around Kempton this time, especially if the ground isn't too bad, is absolutely perfect. He likes the track and he didn't run a bad race on Boxing Day, he just got a little flat on the home bend. On paper it's the ideal race for him, in practicality we will have to see."


What they say

Colin Tizzard, trainer of Eldorado Allen
He ran well in the Peterborough Chase, but made a mistake at an important time. That said, he schooled this week and looks in beautiful form. Our horses are in good form too, so I think he's got as good a chance as any of them. He's run plenty of times over two miles, but I think wants this trip now.

Philip Hobbs, trainer of Defi Du Seuil
He's in very good form and it looks like we have the right conditions for him.

Harry Derham, assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls, trainer of Rouge Vif
He's fine and the feedback Bryony [Frost] gave us last time was that the intermediate trip would suit him better. We're still getting to know him a little better with every day that passes but he's showing us good signs at home. I'm hopeful of a good run.


Saturday's race previews:

1.50 Warwick: well above par? Why Threeunderthrufive is the one to beat for Paul Nicholls

2.25 Warwick: 'He deserves his spot in this race' – Grade 2 novice hurdle insight

2.40 Kempton: 'I've had this race in mind' – who has been laid out for the Lanzarote Hurdle?

3.00 Warwick: 'He's won two, so why not go for another?' – Classic Chase news and views

3.35 Warwick: Gordon Elliott and Ronan McNally share their pre-race Pertemps qualifier views


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Two and a half miles around Kempton this time, especially if the ground isn't too bad, is absolutely perfect
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