Silvinaco Conti looks nailed on to run a huge race in his bid for back-to-back wins in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this Christmas highlight no fewer than eight times, with five titles belonging to the grear Kauto Star.
While Silviniaco Conti still has an awful long way to go to be mentioned in the same breath as his former stablemate, he is building an impressive record of his own.
Alongside the King George sit two Betfair Chase crowns, the only other Grade One three-mile chase run this side of Christmas.
It all looked so different after his seasonal debut at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall, when he faded to finish a lacklustre fifth behind Menorah.
But he managed to turn the tables on Philip Hobbs’ rejuvenated nine-year-old at Haydock when he appeared to simply outstay his rivals.
That was the case 12 months ago when Cue Card fell into a hole before the last and it is unlikely Noel Fehily will be happy with anything other than a very strong gallop again.
Cue Card himself appears to have lost the zip he was showing 12 months ago, but the sole Irish challenger Champagne Fever is likely to be a very tough nut to crack, although this has not been his time of year in the past. The biggest threat may come from his stablemate Al Ferof.
* Selections -
DOWN ROYAL: 12.30 Drumlee, 1.00 Kerrib Castle, 1.30 James, 2.00 Delvin Road, 2.30 Deadly Catch, 3.00 Sultana Belle, 3.30 Angus Milan.
FONTWELL: 12.20 Par Three, 12.55 Glenariff, 1.30 Major Milborne, 2.05 Venetian Lad, 2.45 Truckers Darling, 3.20 Cruising Bye, 3.50 Osmosia.
HUNTINGDON: 12.15 Mr Mcgregor, 12.45 Roseneath, 1.20 Superior Fire, 1.50 Whiskey Chaser, 2.25 Home For Tea, 3.00 Dadsintrouble.
KEMPTON: 12.50 Zip Top, 1.25 Knock House, 2.00 Saphir Du Rheu, 2.30 Faugheen, 3.10 SILVINIACO CONTI (NAP), 3.45 Kilmurvy.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 12.15 Aengus, 12.50 Velvet Maker, 1.20 Thunder Zone, 1.50 Follow The Sign, 2.20 Pires, 2.55 Vautour, 3.25 Space Cadet.,
LIMERICK: 12.30 Everest, 1.05 Go Darsi Go, 1.35 Final Boru, 2.05 Gilgamboa, 2.40 Dantes Firth, 3.15 Black Zero, 3.45 Bella Milano.
MARKET RASEN: 12.25 Spin Cast, 12.55 It’s Oscar, 1.30 Chill Factor, 2.10 Kings Apollo, 2.45 Chestnut Ben, 3.20 Todd.
SEDGEFIELD: 12.10 Divine Port, 12.40 Nashville, 1.15 Zazamix, 1.55 Retrieve The Stick, 2.30 King Rolfe, 3.00 Deny, 3.30 Broadway Belle.
TOWCESTER: 12.25 Newton Thistle, 1.00 Tea For Two, 1.35 Top Benefit, 2.10 Obistar, 2.40 Horatio Hornblower, 3.15 Mr Jim.
WETHERBY: 12.35 Purple Harry, 1.10 Runswick Days, 1.45 Rose Of The Moon, 2.20 Spanish Fleet, 2.55 Clondaw Knight, 3.30 Grey Life.
WINCANTON: 12.30 Dark Amber, 1.05 Quick Decisson, 1.40 Une Artiste, 2.15 Mosspark, 2.50 Stag Hill, 3.25 Saroque, 3.55 Denboy.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.10 Secret Glance, 1.45 Pretend, 2.25 Urban Castle, 3.05 Moulin Rouge, 3.40 Gold Trail, 4.15 Greatest Journey, 4.45 Know Your Name.
DOUBLE: Silviniaco Conti and Saphir Du Rheu.