Paul Nicholls has nominated the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal next month as the starting point for his multiple Grade 1-winning chaser Silviniaco Conti.
Silviniaco Conti endured something of an indifferent campaign by his own lofty standards last season, pulled-up in both the King George and the Grand National, but he showed that plenty of ability remained intact with a wide-margin win in the Betfair Ascot Chase, which brought his Grade 1 tally to seven.
Nicholls, who has won the JNwine Champion Chase on four occasions, including with Kauto Star in 2o10, said: "Silviniaco Conti is off to Down Royal for the three-mile Grade 1."
Nicholls also nominated the €50,000 Grade 2 Titanic Belfast Chase over 2m4f on the same card for Le Mercurey. Nicholls has won that race in seven of the last eight years, the only exception when his representative Wonderful Charm was beaten by Don Cossack.
One leading light Silviniaco Conti will not have to face at Down Royal is Road To Riches, who has been ruled out of the contest he won in 2014 with kissing spines.