Dan Skelton looks ahead to a hectic Boxing Day schedule
It is set to be a very busy Boxing Day for us, which is what we expected with so much racing on.
We start at Fontwell where William Marshall rides our three runners. The first is Ratoute Yutty (12.15) who was running well last time until she fell.
She is back over hurdles here and hopefully she has a decent chance. She is nicely handicapped but she’s just not been showing her form.
Lonimoss Bareliere (12.45) runs in the juvenile hurdle but I can’t see him figuring. I think he is a horse for down the line. He didn’t run well enough at Market Rasen on his debut to think he can win a weight-for-age race.
Falcon Sun (2.25) runs in the handicap hurdle, in which I think he has a bit of a chance.
William knows him and he will be in slightly calmer waters than he was at Cheltenham and Haydock last time. I would hope he can put in a good run at least.
Obviously this is a very hot race, but he is a high class Flat horse with a good cruising speed who jumps nicely. We want to find out where we are with him.
Solomon Grey (1.20) runs in the novices’ handicap, which is a lot calmer company than last time when he was taking on Cyrname and Altior who he finished a good bit behind.
The track suits him, he was second in the Lanzarote Hurdle last season, and hopefully he has half a squeak.
Redzor (1.55) runs in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. This is very competitive but he is consistent, stays three miles well and I think the track will suit him.
We have put a pair of cheek-pieces on him to help him out. He has got something to find on the figures but he was always going to come here and this is a race that can sometimes throw up a 135-rated winner. He is ready to do his best.
Ch’tibello (2.30) contests the Christmas Hurdle and I think he is a player. He had to concede a penalty last time at Cheltenham, which he doesn’t this time.
As long as that race hasn’t left a mark, which it doesn’t appear to have, I think he is a big player.
A couple in there want really good ground, there are a couple of four-year-olds, and second seasons are often difficult for them, so I think we are entitled to be optimistic.
Gortroe Joe (3.40) runs in the last and I think he has an each-way chance. The track at Haydock didn’t suit him last time but he ran well at Wetherby the time before.
Ladbrokes King George VI Chase
If you want my opinion on the King George VI Chase I think Cyrname (3.05) will win. It is the perfect track for him over three miles. If he is going to get three miles it is going to be at Kempton.
Looking back through his form his rating has been proven, whereas before Ascot you were unsure whether the mark was accurate. By beating Altior he proved it. I would be siding with Cyrname if I had to choose one.
Back to our own team and at Market Rasen Prussia With Love (12.35) is our first runner there.
She didn’t run all that well the other day and I was a bit disappointed. This track should suit her but she has something to find with the principals.
Bandsman (1.05) has been bang out of form but does run well round this track. It’s a small field which should suit him but he is out of form, which is disappointing because if he wasn’t this looks the perfect race for him.
New Quay (1.40) runs in the novices’ handicap chase and I would give him a chance. He looked like he was going to go very close the other day and maybe just needed it. I think he is a player.
Very First Time (2.15) runs in the Lincolnshire National. I think he has an obvious chance having won his last two for us and I have always had this race in mind for him.
Head Lad (2.50) runs in the two and a half mile handicap. He won there last time. He has to be played late over this trip but I am confident he will run well.
King D’argent (3.25) runs in the last but is bang out of form, which is disappointing because he had some good juvenile form last year but hasn’t really trained on.
Bridget goes to Wetherby for us where we have two runners. Silk Or Satin (11.55) runs in the first. I don’t know what happened on her first start for us in a bumper, but put a line through it.
She has worked nicely at home and jumps well. Hopefully she has an each-way squeak because she does look all right at home.
Bennys King (2.10) runs in the Rowland Meyrick. We had a few options for him and have chosen this one. I like the way the race looks for him.
I had Ardlethan and Captain Chaos in there as well. Ardlethan will go for a novice chase at Warwick on January 11 and Captain Chaos will run in the Welsh National.
Sean Bowen, who had a winner for us years ago, rides him. The track will suit him. It will be pretty soft which is nothing for him to fear. He has a chance.
We have White Walker (3.45) in the bumper. He has definitely improved since his first start but he will need to have done. I like him long term as a National Hunt type.