Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

William Hill Winter Festival Launch - Quotes

Collected Quotes From Connections:


Paul Nicholls On Silviniaco Conti: “We felt he was quite lazy at Wetherby so we put some cheek-pieces on he does appear to be in the form of his life at the moment…What he would want is plenty of rain. Kempton on good ground wouldn’t be ideal… If you had a dry three weeks and the ground was good or even faster you’d be seriously concerned about it but if it keeps raining, it’s soft, it’s ideal for him and last year’s race being soft it was a test of stamina and it did suit him.”


Paul Nicholls On Al Ferof: “Obviously I think Al Ferof ran a career best at Ascot the other day and the form has worked out really well. For whatever reason he seems to be much better in himself this year than he was last year, he had a few problems, ulcers…the biggest question is whether he’ll stay three miles on soft ground…he’s got to prove he stays three miles, but on his very best he might well do. He’s by Dom Alco, he should do. I don’t think the twice he’s run at three miles he’s been at his best.”


Daryl Jacob on Cue Card’s below par run at Haydock: “We were expecting to go there and run a very big race and to be beaten comfortably after three out I suppose you would be a little bit disappointed, but I think the horse has come on for the run and probably the ground at Haydock was a bit too soft for him so we’re hoping for a little bit better ground at Kempton and hopefully we’ll see a few more lengths improvement…I was very excited going in to Haydock. I was going there expecting hopefully to win, definitely to put in a very big show. That’s why we’re going back to the drawing board and we need to improve an awful lot if we’re going to trouble the big horses.”


Sarah Hobbs on the three Philip Hobbs entries: “Our horses seem to get better with maturity. All three of them have suddenly come on haven’t they.”


“I think Menorah would be better with better ground.”


(On Richard Johnson missing the ride on Menorah through riding suspension, to be replaced by Tom O’Brien) – “Tom’s been with us seven years now and deserves a chance”


“Wishfull Thinking, if it’s windy it could be a problem, he’s had two operations and he can’t cope with it being at all windy….I can’t see him beating Silviniaco Conti but there you go”


“Captain Chris: Philip said this morning he’s 50/50 (for the King George), he’s very well. He’s schooling very well, working very well, Chris who rides him every day is very happy with him…I just don’t think he’s quite ready yet.”


Charlie Morlock on whether Simonsig will make the King George: “He’s still got plenty to do, it’s a steep upward curve but if we don’t get any kinks or slips on the way upwards there’s still a very good chance.”


Rich Ricci on Champagne Fever: “This has been a plan for a while, it’s interesting. All this chatter about chasers not winning over here, I think Willie feels more motivated to try and win something over here...I think he’s got a great chanceI worry about Paul’s horses, they are on fire, they’re going very well, you see the competition here. But I think Champagne Fever if he’s on his day, hopefully we’ll keep him fresh and get him there on his day, he’s got a great chance.”


William Hill King George VI Chase: 11-4 Silviniaco Conti, 4-1 Champagne Fever, 8-1 Al Ferof, Simonsig, 9-1 Menorah, 10-1 Cue Card, 11-1 Dynaste, 14-1 Captain Chris, 16-1 Road To Riches, 20-1 Boston Bob, Eduard, 25-1 Ballycasey, Holywell, Johns Spirit, Ma Filleule, Smad Place, Taquin Du Seuil, Wishfull Thinking, 33-1 Fox Appeal, Vukovar, 40-1 The Giant Bolster, Theatre Guide, Wonderful Charm, 50-1 Bury Parade, Corrin Wood, Double Ross, 66-1 Annacotty, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)