Silviniaco Conti, The New One win at Aintree

AINTREE, England (AP) Silviniaco Conti and The New One made up for disappointing results at Cheltenham last month by winning big races as the Aintree Festival got off to an incident-free start on Thursday.

After finishing fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when leading at the last fence, Silviniaco Conti (9-4) made no mistake in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree three weeks later, holding off favorite Dynaste to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

”He’s unlucky not to win a Gold Cup and he deserved to win this,” winning jockey Noel Fehily said. ”I didn’t sleep a lot that night (after Cheltenham). I was absolutely sick.”

Connections of The New One also came away from the Cheltenham Festival bitterly disappointed after their highly rated horse was hampered by a falling horse to dash his chances of winning the Champions Hurdle.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies gave The New One a clear ride in the Aintree Hurdle, however, and the 4-9 favorite edged Rock On Ruby and Diakali in a photo finish.

”Everyone seems to judge your season on the way Cheltenham goes. If it doesn’t go right, it’s hard,” Twiston-Davies said.�”But then there’s only one Aintree Hurdle every year, too, it’s a brilliant race.”

The first trip over the fearsome fences used for the Grand National passed without incident, with Warne romping to a 13-length win in the Fox Hunters’ Chase – a race for amateur jockeys only.

Twenty-one horses have died over the Grand National fences since 2001.

The National, widely regarded as the most famous and grueling race in horse racing, takes place on Saturday.

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