Dual winner Conti only '50-50' for King George bid

Silviniaco Conti

Silviniaco Conti: not a guaranteed starter in the King George

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Jon Lees 1:41PM 16 DEC 2016 

THE most successful trainer in the history of the King George VI Chase may not have a runner in this year’s race with Paul Nicholls declaring two-time winner Silviniaco Conti only ’50-50′ for the Boxing Day showpiece.

Champion trainer Nicholls, who has had a runner every year since 2002, has won the prize nine times but Silviniaco Conti, victorious in 2014 and 2015, will only take his chance in the 32Red-sponsored race if the field cuts up.

“I am going to confirm him at the five day stage and see what’s in it,” said Nicholls on Friday. “If they all go then he won’t go.

“It will be the first time for a long time I won’t have a runner but there is no point running if they’ve got no chance. It would be fifty-fifty. If Thistlecrack didn’t run and there are five or six then I might be tempted. He’s won it twice and likes the track but I want to look at it first.”

Silviniaco Conti was pulled up in the race last year and was beaten 42 lengths in the Betfair Chase last time.

“I don’t think they need to worry about Conti on his latest form,” Nicholls added. “He might be better off waiting for the Betfair Ascot Chase which he won last season.”

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