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Silviniaco Conti has produced a stunning front running performance to emulate his former stablemate Kauto Star with back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Ridden by Irishman Noel Fehily, Silviniaco Conti gave trainer Paul Nicholls his ninth winner in the Boxing Day showpiece, second only to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in prestige in steeplechasing.

The 15-8 favourite kicked clear after the second last jump to leave his rivals trailing in his wake with Dynaste running on strongly to finish second while another Nicholls runner Al Ferof was third for the second successive year.

Nicholls, who had had little success on the day before the King George, said he was more impressed with Silviniaco Conti’s performance this year.

“Amazing to have nine winners in the race!” Nicholls said.

“I have been really impressed with him this year. He’s in a good place this season.”

Nicholls said he was not certain whether Silviniaco Conti would have another run before the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March for which he is the 4-1 favourite.

The normally undemonstrative Fehily punched the air in delight as he crossed the finish line.

“He has proved what a very good horse he is,” he said.

“He has done it the hard way.”

Earlier the Willie Mullins-trained Faugheen produced a devastating performance to make it eight wins from eight starts in the Christmas Hurdle.

Faugheen is now as short as even money for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

 
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