Silviniaco Conti returns for Denman Chase

Updated: Friday, 08 Feb 2013 12:12

Leading Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Silviniaco Conti returns from a midwinter break in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

A convincing winner of both the Charlie Hall Chase and Betfair Chase, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old is among a field of eight declared for this three-mile heat.

He will be taken on by last season's Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster, trained by David Bridgwater.

Philip Hobbs is stepping Menorah up to three miles for the first time following his Peterborough Chase success over an extended two and a half miles at Kempton over Christmas.

The field is made up of Master Of The Hall, Weird Al, Junior, Little Josh and Mail De Bievre.

The only withdrawal at the final declaration stage was Restless Harry.

Trainer Tom George is looking forward to giving French import Mail De Bievre his first run on English soil.

The eight-year-old was a Grade Two winner over fences in Auteuil, but has been off the track for 17 months.

"He has actually jumped more like an English horse than a French horse from day one." - George

"Every horse is going to improve for the run having been off the track for so long, but he's had a couple of trips away," said the Slad handler.

"I'm not saying he's fit enough to win with his head in his chest, but I do think he's fit enough to run a proper race.

"Paddy (Brennan) has done a lot of schooling on him and it has gone very well.

"I have quite a bit of experience of working with horses that have come over from France and, surprisingly, he has actually jumped more like an English horse than a French horse from day one.

"Hopefully he does that when he goes to the track."