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Trainer Paul Nicholls has confirmed Grand National plans for Silviniaco Conti following his emphatic victory in the Ascot Chase.

Nicholls said he wants the 10-year-old to have a crack at the world’s most famous steeplechase rather than bid to win the Betfred Bowl at Aintree in April for the third season in a row.

The horse’s victory at Ascot on Saturday showed he was over the problems that have dogged his season up to that point.

“He will not go to Cheltenham and is much more likely to run in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree rather than bid for a third win in the Bowl there,” Nicholls said on his website.

“I am very tempted by the National and so is his jockey Noel Fehily. Conti is going to be well-in in the race now and when he is right, which he is now, he is a very good horse.”

Silviniaco Conti is second favourite at around 16-1 for the Grand National on April 9 for which he has been given 11st 8lb (73.5kg).

 
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