Silviniaco Conti emulates former stablemate Kauto Star at King George

Silviniaco Conti powers clear of the field under jockey Noel Fehily to win the King George VI at Kempton Park.

Story highlights

  • Silviniaco Conti wins King George VI Chase for second year in row
  • Ninth win in prestigious steeplechase for trainer Paul Nicholls
  • Stablemate of former legendary winner Kauto Star
  • Kempton Park Boxing Day race second only to Cheltenham Gold Cup

(CNN)Silviniaco Conti completed the double at the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in the style of which former stablemate and steeplechase legend Kauto Star would be proud.

The Boxing Day race is second only to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in terms of prestige for elite horses over the fences and the 15/8 shot justified his favorite tag with a superb front running display.
    It came on the day a statue in honor of five-time winner Kauto Star was unveiled at the London track, both horses trained by Paul Nicholls, who has now saddled the winner nine times in the King George.
    Kauto Star has turned to equestrian sport and dressage since his retirement from racing, memories of his dominance still fresh in the memory.
    But Silviniaco Conti was just as sure footed over the big fences to win ahead of 7-1 chance Dynaste, while another Nicholls runner Al Ferof, was third for the second successive year.
    Fancied Irish runner Champagne Fever faded to finish fourth under jockey Ruby Walsh after running too strongly in the opening stages.
    Irish jockey Noel Fehily was on board the winner and could not hide his delight after such a clear cut victory.
    "He has proved what a very good horse he is," said Fehilly. "He has done it the hard way."
    Meanwhile Nicholls was left to marvel at his continued success in the King George.
    "Amazing to have nine winners in the race!" said Nicholls.
    "He was really good today. I have been really impressed with him this year. He's in a good place this season."
    Silviniaco Conti has been installed as 4-1 favorite for the Gold Cup, looking to put his disappointing fourth place in last year's race behind him at the Cheltenham Festival in March.