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Silsol bids for quick follow up.

3.10 Fontwell totepool National Spirit Hurdle 2m4f Grade 2 ATR Card page 25 WELSH Champion Hurdle winner Silsol aims to give Paul Nicholls a third victory in five runnings of this Grade 2 contest.

Nicholls suffered an upset a year ago when Saphir Du Rheu could finish only fourth at 2-5 but he hopes Silsol has enough in hand to lift the prize three weeks after his Ffos Las victory.

Nicholls said: "He'll love the conditions. He won the Welsh Champion Hurdle off a stiffish mark on very testing ground. Jack Sherwood can't claim this time so Sam [Twiston-Davies] is back on board. He's well in at the weights as he has no penalty.

"I'm conscious it's three weeks after he had a hard race, but he's worked well, is in good shape and has the right ground, so it was an obvious race."

Silsol's main threat could come from Kilcooley, who was pulled up in the Lanzarote Hurdle after winning his previous start by 23 lengths.

Trainer Charlie Longsdon said: "He ran a bit flat last time, which was his fourth run in six weeks. He's had a break since and if he can produce his Gerry Feilden form or Haydock-winning form he should go very well.

"He's not weighted to beat Silsol but is weighted to come second. The softer the ground the better, and he'd also like plenty of pace in the race."

Foxcub finished last of the 12 finishers in the Lanzarote and trainer Tom Symonds said: "We're taking a punt really. He lost his action in the Ladbroke, and in the Lanzarote the ground was tacky. He went through the wet ground at Bangor when he won and this race is going to be very hard work."

Last year's winner Kayf Moss may run after being declared a non-runner at Chepstow yesterday.

Today's fixture also remembers former great Josh Gifford with the running of the Totejackpot Josh Gifford Memorial Novices' Chase (2.10), in which Nicholls saddles Wilton Milan.

Nicholls said: "I'd love to win the Josh Gifford race having worked for him years ago. Wilton Milan has been in good form, won well last time and doesn't get a penalty because it was a boys' race. He should go close."

Officials at Fontwell, which was recently named small racecourse of the year in the South East by the Racegoers Club, will inspect at 8am.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the National Spirit, the first 50 racegoers who provide evidence it is their 50th birthday this month or who are celebrating 50 years of marriage, will enjoy free admission.

Jon Lees

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Silsol: impressive winner of Welsh Champion Hurdle last time

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 22, 2015
Words:449
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