Horse Racing: Peace and Co can get Gold Cup day off to a flier

Trainer Paul Nicholls pictured with Silviniaco Conti.
Trainer Paul Nicholls pictured with Silviniaco Conti.
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PEACE AND Co can get Cheltenham Gold Cup day off to a flyer tomorrow and fund the Blue Riband bet on Silviniaco Conti.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the final day Festival highlight and Silviniaco Conti is the top-rated horse by some way (3.20pm).

The Paul Nicholls-trained chaser should be shorter than 4-1 given that he has a rating of 174, some 7lbs clear of Roads To Riches who is next best at 167.

Silviniaco Conti’s Wetherby flop in November’s Charlie Hall Chase is now a distant memory and it’s impossible to crab his subsequent victories in the Betfair Chase and King George.

The obvious question mark is whether Silviniaco Conti handles the track at Cheltenham where he has never won but he was going like the winner when falling in the 2013 Gold Cup and he was only beaten a length and three quarters despite wandering all over the place last year.

Silviniaco Conti is now a year older and wiser and he’s a reasonably confident selection with the progressive Road To Riches the danger but Peace And Co is the final day nap in the Triumph (1.30pm).

This horse has been most people’s fancy for the day four opener ever since trotting up by 19 lengths on his Doncaster hurdling debut and he still looks a fair price at 11-4. He maybe lacked a wow factor when following up at Cheltenham in January but Peace And Co still won easy enough and jockey Barry Geraghty said afterwards that the four-year-old would be much better in a big field given a helter-skelter pace.

That’s exactly what this classy chap will get tomorrow and he is expected to make it three wins out of three for Nicky Henderson.

Black Hercules, meanwhile, obviously ticks lots of boxes for man of the moment Willie Mullins in the Albert Bartlett (2.40pm). He’s won two out of two over hurdles – and could hardly be with a better trainer!