Rocky Creek to miss Charlie Hall Chase

Saturday's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is at Wetherby. Picture: PA

Saturday's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase is at Wetherby. Picture: PA

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PAUL Nicholls is set to rely on Silviniaco Conti in Saturday’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby after revealing Rocky Creek will instead head to Down Royal on the same afternoon.

Silviniaco Conti was successful in the Wetherby highlight two years ago for the champion trainer and will attempt to regain his crown ahead of a likely bid to do the same in the Betfair Chase at Haydock next month.

Rocky Creek, not seen in competitive action since finishing fifth in the Grand National, is also entered in West Yorkshire, but will instead head to Northern Ireland for the Grade One JNwine.com Champion Chase.

Speaking at Taunton yesterday, Nicholls said: “Silviniaco Conti is going to run. He does like good ground, he worked well this morning and he’s got to start somewhere.

“I’ll probably run one other up there [at Wetherby], Solar Impulse, who also likes decent ground.

“Rocky Creek is in good form. He’s one of those horses that is a little bit in no man’s land as he’s got a high handicap mark and up until now he hasn’t been a Grade One horse, but this is the sort of race you can run in early doors before the real stars start running to their very best form.”

The champion trainer also confirmed his intention to run Wonderful Charm in Down Royal’s Powers Irish Whiskey Chase, a Grade Two prize he has won for the last six years.

At Lingfield today, Fruit Pastille looks ripe for Listed honours in the 32Red/ebfstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes.

Hughie Morrison’s filly is in outstanding form, and can claim a fourth victory on the spin in this fast-track qualifier for All-Weather Championship Finals Day.

This is another step along the ladder, but her fondness of Lingfield’s all-weather circuit – she has won twice from four starts at the Surrey venue – will also stand her in particularly good stead.

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