Conti among Down Royal possibles

Silviniaco Conti and Don Poli are among the star names still in contention for the Champion Chase at Down Royal on Saturday.

Silviniaco Conti could run at Down Royal

British champion trainer Paul Nicholls has won the Grade One prize four times in the last decade, with the great Kauto Star striking gold in 2008 and 2010.

Dual King George hero Silviniaco Conti will be the Ditcheat representative in County Antrim this weekend after delighting connections in a racecourse gallop at Chepstow last week.

Don Poli, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, won three races at the highest level for former Willie Mullins and was last seen finishing third in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April.

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He could make his debut for Gordon Elliott this weekend, as long as conditions are suitable.

"Don Poli is one I'd like to run," Elliott told the Irish Times.

"He has done some good bits of work but if the ground is better we may run something else."

Elliott and Gigginstown maintain a strong hand in the three-mile contest, with Clarcam, Lord Scoundrel, Outlander and Roi Des Francs featuring in the 15 possible runners.

Elliott, who struck gold 12 months ago with subsequent Gold Cup hero Don Cossack, has also left in Realt Mor, while Gigginstown could also call upon the Henry de Bromhead-trained Valseur Lido and Wounded Warrior from Noel Meade's yard.

Meade's Monksland, De Bromhead's Sadler's Risk, Enda Bolger's Gilgamboa and the Mouse Morris-trained Smashing complete the home team.

Silviniaco Conti could be joined on the trip across the Irish Sea by Kim Bailey's Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri and O'Faolains Boy from the yard of Rebecca Curtis.

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