Dan Skelton looks ahead to Cheltenham, Aintree and Wincanton
It’s raining everywhere at the moment, but that does mean we can run most horses and do plenty of work with them at home.
It’s been a bit of a frustrating week with a couple of fallers but everyone is okay and we get to go again.
Cheltenham – Saturday
We have a busy weekend ahead and are back at Cheltenham on Saturday, where we have three runners in the first race.
Harry rides Cobra De Mai (2.00) but if it absolutely hammers down I won’t be running this horse.
He won at the April meeting at Cheltenham and likes a bit of nice ground so if it rains too much I will leave him till Ascot next week.
I have been very happy with him. He has to take a big step forward to go to the next level off 153 so it’s going to be hard.
Young Tristran Durrell rides Get On The Yager (2.00). He is getting a bit older but I am happy with him. Tristran can take 7lb off.
I don’t think he is badly handicapped but we are desperate to get a win next to his name as it’s been a while since he won the Rowland Meyrick. Hopefully he can have another day in the sun before too long.
Captain Chaos (2.00) ran okay at Chepstow but always takes a few runs to warm up. I am happy with the way he looks but he just has to get out there.
We run Marracudja (3.10) in a handicap chase. Softer ground suits him. He’s had a run at Chepstow and we will see how he gets on. He is coming down to a mark where he should be competitive.
Two Taffs (3.45) reappears after a long time off in the Pertemps qualifier. We have done stacks of work with him. The handicapper has given him a chance but I do think he will improve for the run.
Big G (5.30) is a nice horse we run in the bumper. He surprised us a little with the way he ran at Stratford. We thought he was a little backward but he ran nicely.
His work at home has been nice. I wouldn’t want to see it softer than soft to run him. I do like him and his work has improved.
Aintree – Sunday
We roll onto Aintree where we run Frisson Collonges (12.40) in the maiden hurdle. He is a lovely horse, a proper chaser for the future. He will run well but there are a couple of speedy hurdler types in there. I can see him running well and improving through the season.
Hear No Evil (2.25) has been off for a long time and, a bit like Two Taffs, I have done loads of work with him. I just can’t see how he won’t improve as he is a great big horse.
He has won round the track, has some fancy form and is shouldered with top weight. I am looking forward to a productive season with him.
Born Survivor (3.00) runs in the Old Roan but if it went soft or worse I wouldn’t run him and leave him for Wetherby next week. I’ve been very happy with his work. Everything has gone smoothly this autumn and I feel he is ready to take a step up.
With Kalashnikov and Frodon in there it is a very good race. It’s not going to be easy but I am happy with him.
For Shannon Bridge (3.35) any rain can only be a positive. He had some nice form last year over fences but didn’t finish his season off that well.
I feel another season under his belt won’t have done him any harm as he’s a stayer and he would have a little chance in this.
We run Global Harmony (4.10) in the bumper. She is a nice mare out of Violin Davis by Flemensfirth. I do like her and her work has improved. She actually ran okay last year for her tender age. I will be happy to get her started.
Wincanton – Sunday
Bridget is going to Wincanton for us. She rides I’d Better Go Now (1.00) in the first. He had some moderate form in novice hurdles last season but he is on an okay mark. I think he is a chaser for the future to be honest.
Avarchi (3.55) is making his debut for us. I’ve done loads of jumping with him and plenty of work. I am a little in the dark with him because I have never run him before.
I don’t know what to expect but haven’t many excuses because of all the work he’s done so we’ll see how he gets on.
Aweeminit (4.30) ran super at Kempton last week in a Listed race to pick up black type.
I imagine she is well-in here on figures and I would be disappointed if she doesn’t figure prominently at the end. She should have the form to win unless last weekend was too good to be true.