Past Winners » Silsol
You can see Ballyoptic’s potential, but he still has to prove that he is a World Hurdle contender, and all the World Hurdle talk has obviously contrinuted to his contracted price for this, the West Yorkshire Hurdle. He may well win, but he really shouldn’t be a 6/4 shot.
You can make the case that just about all his rivals are over-priced, but I think that Silsol is most over-priced, and I am backing him.
Paul Nicholls’ horse is a high-class staying hurdler. He was never out of the first four last season, and he put up some high-class performances in defeat, most notably when he finished third behind Ubak and If In Doubt in the Grade 3 three-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree in April, giving them weight.
There shouldn’t be much between him and If In Doubt on that run, but Silsol is a more attractive betting proposition: he goes well fresh, his trainer’s horses are in top form, and he is a bigger price.
There is also the fact that Saphir Du Rheu has been re-routed from this race to Ascot. It may be significant that it was Saphir Du Rheu’s owner who said early in the week that he was probably going to Wetherby, but Paul Nicholls trains both horses, and it may be significant that Silsol runs here while Saphir goes to Ascot.
Fast ground would be a worry for Silsol, but it wasn’t too fast at Wetherby yesterday, the times suggest that it was good ground all right, but probably just on the easy side of good, which should be fine for Silsol. The ground was good when he finished second behind Ptit Zig at Sandown last April, when he had Vaniteux and Ubak behind him.
If In Doubt is a danger, and Native River is interesting returning to hurdles, but you just feel that this is a prep race for the Hennessy, that this run should bring him forward, and Silsol is the bet.
SILSOL WON (ADV 7/1, SP 13/2)