Silver out to secure Cheltenham Champion Chase slot

Click Here For Complete List Of Articles


Willie Mullins' Golden Silver has enjoyed a very successful season so far and will bid to add another tasty prize to his collection at Naas on Sunday where he is likely to start a warm order for the Grade 2 Chase, writes Elliot Slater.  

The nine-year-old has already won three Grade 2 contests this term, last time out getting his revenge on reigning champion chaser Big Zeb when proving half-a-length too good for Colm Murphy's stable star in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown at the end of last month, having previously finished second to the 10-year-old on two other occasions this season. 

The Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 16 appears to be the most likely option for Golden Silver (assuming he comes through the Naas race with flying colours), but he also holds an entry in the two-mile-five furlong Ryanair Chase, and no final decision has yet been taken as to which race he will definitely contest and anyone looking at the Champion Chase odds should bear this in mind.

A winner of 11 of his 47 career starts and over 500,000 in prize-money, the Mansonnien gelding has run at the last two Cheltenham Festivals but on both occasions has failed to run to his true potential. In 2009 he finished a disappointing 14th behind Forpadydeplasterer in the Arkle Chase, and last year was beaten 35-lengths into sixth behind Big Zeb in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

The jury remains out as to whether Mullins' charge can overcome his apparent aversion to the undulations of the demanding Cheltenham circuit, but the signs are that he is an intended runner at Prestbury Park. A best priced 12/1 chance for the Ryanair Chase, Golden Silver is available at around the same price in the ante-post markets for the Champion Chase.

Click Here For Complete List Of Articles