Our man Dan Skelton discusses his runners this weekend
No Hassle Hoff runs in the Rendlesham Hurdle (2.05) at Haydock. He didn’t have a great run at Warwick but he had top weight and the ground was barely soft enough for him.
I just feel real soft ground suits him better and he will obviously get that at Haydock. However the reality is that he’s behind on numbers.
He is significantly behind Agrapart and then there is a couple in there that he’s not far off level with. I think he can go and run nicely. It would be good to get his form back before looking at Cheltenham and Aintree.
Sir Mangan will run in the Grand National trial (3.15). I was really happy with him last time out at Warwick until about six to jump and then he gave a very moderate run.
That was the first moderate run we’ve ever had from him and I can’t really shed any light on it. Before that, I was very happy with him.
We’re not on a recovery mission or anything like that because it’s only been one bad run. If you draw a line through Warwick, I’d really fancy him for this at 10’3lb.
I’ll run Tommy Rapper in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.50).
He’s won his last two now and seems to be getting his act together. The form just wasn’t there in the autumn but we’ve got him back now.
I think he can be competitive off this mark and he should be a player.
Shannon Bridge will go in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (4.25). He was second in the River Don and this race isn’t dissimilar.
I think having a rail on the inside the whole way will really help because he looked like he was going to win last time but he hung left.
With a rail in place, this track really suits him. He seems in great form and although he’s only five, he’s tough and will have a fair chance.
I am also at Wincanton on Saturday where Ch’Tibello runs in the Kingwell Hurdle (2.45).
He’s top on ratings and brings some nice graded form to the race. I’d be hopeful he can run a real big race here en-route to Cheltenham.
Zamparelli (5.05) ran ok in two novice hurdles last year but nothing special. I see him as a chaser really but it just feels like the wrong time of year to go chasing with him.
Embole will run in this race too. We gave him a wind op since his last run just to try and tighten it up in case it was his palate causing the problem.
I’d love to get him in the Fred Winter because he had a great first run and obviously it wasn’t so good second time. If I can put a good run next to his name here then we can start re-planning.
Pretty Reckless runs in the 2.45 at Market Rasen. She could be well handicapped over hurdles.
Maybe this race is a bit too high for her, she might be better off in a lower grade but I have been very happy with her. Her work has been decent and she put two wins in back in autumn.
Whatzdjazz (3.15) took a hell of a fall last time and I feel she will need a couple of runs to get her confidence back.
She has jumped great at home but I just know fillies don’t take falling quite as well as the boys. I also don’t think she is very well handicapped.
Bertimont also runs in this race but he is too high in the weights, he isn’t getting any younger, and he hasn’t won a race for about three years. It isn’t going to be easy.
Solomon Grey also runs here. I think off 130 his form behind If The Cap Fits reads very nicely.
Looks like we have three dry days which is important. I’d be confident that we have a chance.
Captain Chaos (3.50) is one of the highest rated in this race. He ran well for a long way in Towton last time at Wetherby and then I don’t know why, maybe he got stuck in the ground.
He just didn’t finish his race off. I think he’s back in calmer waters here and I’d like to see him put a nice run together before we venture into handicaps.
Must Havea Flutter (4.20) ran nicely over fences last time without suggesting he’s going to win next time, I think he will go and run well for the club.