Dan Skelton previews the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival
We start in the Ladbrokes “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle at 12.10 with Betameche, who is a very exciting horse.
He actually beat Grade 1 winner Sam Spinner in his last bumper at Wetherby. Since then we’ve had some niggles with him, but thankfully he seems to be over those now.
What ability remains? Well we’ve got to get out there and see. We have been happy with him at home and he is ready to get going.
I will run West To The Bridge in this race as well. He’s been running ok to be fair and I can see the track suiting him but he doesn’t look like he’s up to this class just yet. His life is probably going to be easier in handicaps.
Al Shahir is up next in the Ladbrokes Chase at 12.45. I think dropping him back to two miles is a positive for him. He ran ok last time. It is quite a strong race but I think he’ll have a little chance.
In the Ladbrokes Novices’ Hurdle at 1.20, we run Éclair D’Ainay who is having his first run for us. I think two-and-half-miles is a good trip for him.
He ran once in France, his jumping has been good and his work is what you’d expect. Let’s see how his French form translates basically.
We’ve got Spiritofthegames in the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at 1.50, which is another strong race.
He carries a penalty for winning a listed chase but we like him a lot. His work has been good since Chepstow and we are looking forward to getting back out there with him. We’ve deliberately given him a good break between races.
Three Musketeers is in the Handicap Chase at 2.25. He has won over course and distance when he won a Grade 2 Novice Chase at this meeting a couple of season ago. We were looking for a smaller field for him back over fences and this seems to suit.
Our last runner of the day at Newbury is in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 3.35 with Aux Ptit Soins, who people will know. We didn’t run him in the Long Distance Hurdle on Saturday.
We have waited for this and for a bit more rain to come. The ground looks nice for him now. Again like Betameche, he’s been off the track a good while. We’ve got to get out there now and see where we stand.
We also have two runners at Doncaster. Peppay Le Pugh (12.35) would have a little chance. He has been very consistent over two miles whilst the ground is good.
We have Too Many Diamonds (1.40) also and but he looks like he’s coming to the end of his season after a long stint in training.