Dan Skelton previews his weekend runners at Kelso, Newbury and Huntingdon
It’s a busy weekend for us when we will have runners at three meetings.
Harry is going to Kelso where My Drogo (13.30) is favourite for a good novice hurdle up there.
It’s a race we’ve had in mind for a good while and there are no excuses going into it. I’ve been very happy with the way he has worked and jumped at home. He has to carry a graded penalty but I think he will go well.
Sail Away (14.05) is a new horse for us. I like him a lot. I think he is going to be a three-mile chaser next year but we thought we would just give him a couple of runs over hurdles to see where we are with him.
He showed good form in France. This is a little bit of a learning exercise but I think the intermediate trip is a good starting point and I think he has a fair future.
Faivoir (15.15) is in the Morebattle Hurdle. He won a good race last time out and the form has been franked since. He’s coming here because I think the ground will be slightly softer than it will be at Newbury where Proschema goes. I would have to give Faivoir a good chance.
Eclair D’Ainay (15.50) won over trip and track last time. He has plenty of weight but then so has Paul Nicholls’s runner. There are only four runners and I am optimistic he will run very well.
We are running three at Newbury starting with Born Survivor (13.50) in the Greatwood. Again, this is a race we have had in mind for some time. He has to have nice ground and it will be that. I am looking forward to running him now he has dropped to a reasonable handicap mark.
Proschema (14.30) is in the handicap hurdle with Sofia’s Rock (14.30). The ground will be as good as you can find for Proschema, which he needs. He is entered at Cheltenham but we will deal with this race first. I am really looking forward to running him on this ground.
Sofia’s Rock will definitely improve for this race. He is coming back off an injury and we have to get the ball rolling with him again. He is a very honest, genuine horse and hopefully there are plenty more races to be won with him.
Global Harmony (14.20) runs in a Listed mares’ hurdle at Doncaster. The race is competitive but without having a horse with a stand-out chance so I think she should least have each-way claims. The trip and decent ground are what she really needs.
We are at Huntingdon on Sunday, starting with Marada (14.00) who has a double penalty, but one of those is negated by the mares’ allowance.
I am very happy with how she has been in the fortnight since her last run. I felt she would need the run a fraction at Market Rasen and that’s how it transpired. That is not the case this time. There are no excuses going into this and I think she can go very close.
Supremely Lucky (14.30) tackles the beginners’ chase. He is coming back over fences having been placed a good few times. This has cut up a little and I think he brings some of the best chase form into it, so I have to be quite hopeful.
Azzuri (15.05) is back over hurdles on a bit of a rediscovery mission. His form has collapsed. I would prefer to run him over fences but we thought an outing over hurdles might spark some life into him. Hopefully we can still win a few more races with him because he has been such a great horse for us.
Very First Time (16.05) runs in the handicap chase. I think the trip will be a little short for him but it is a good starting point. He is entered in the Midlands National in two week’s time, which is something we would consider if this went well.
Midnight Aurora (16.40) runs under a penalty in a 3m hurdle. She is very good around Huntingdon where she has won a couple before. She has to be given a lot of respect.
Quid Pro Quo (17.10) runs in the bumper. He’s been off the track for a good while but is a young horse so there is no need to overrun him. I have been really happy with him and he looks fantastic.
He has to carry a penalty. It’s never easy to win a bumper under a penalty but I like this horse a lot.