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Conti duo on mission to prove they keep it in family

By Keith Hamer

There will be some equine sibling rivalry when half-brothers Silviniaco Conti and Ucello Conti line up in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

While Silviniaco Conti, a 10-year-old trained by Paul Nicholls, is well known thanks to his long list of successes, Ucello Conti is an unknown quantity.

Formerly trained in France by Guillaume Macaire, the eight-year-old has had three runs since being switched to Gordon Elliott's yard in County Meath.

Ucello Conti has earned his place in the National, which Elliott won with Silver Birch in 2007, thanks to two excellent placed efforts in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown and the Thyestes Chase at Gowran.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "He's been a surprise package. He's come back to his good form as a youngster and run two great races in Ireland's two biggest handicaps.

"We're not sure about him getting the extra distance of the National. But he's got a chance."

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