Dan Skelton eyes a winner on Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup day

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Mohaayed (2.10) has ended up with top weight in County Hurdle, which isn’t ideal, and it is going to be hard for him to win it a second time under 11st 12lb. But he is the reigning champion and he will be trying hard to defend his crown.

He is in good form at home. He loves the track, he loves the softer ground nowadays and Bridget is back on him. She won the race last year so they will be doing all they can to retain that title.

We have had the Festival in mind for our other runner Ch’tibello (2.10) for some time now. We have tried him at graded level and it hasn’t worked out.

He belongs in handicaps now and this is the best handicap to target. He will like the soft ground as well.

In the Grand Annual we have Marracudja (4.50). I think he will love the ground and a fast run race will really suit him.

After finishing second at Wetherby we put him away for his, hoping he would get in and he has nicely. He is in good form at home and I think he has an each way chance.

We also have the first reserve in there in Yorkist (4.50) and if he got in we would run him. He’s an old boy but he will stay on well up the hill if he runs.

He came to the track in the winter and he didn’t run well at all. He can get out of bed the wrong side sometimes but if he could rediscover his best off a low weight he could have a chance of sneaking a place, especially the way the race is normally run.

Not That Fuisse (5.30) is our representative in the Martin Pipe. It’s a race I have had in mind for an awfully long time. We didn’t think he would get in after he ran at Kempton but he is in very good form.

No more rain would be a help to him but having said that I didn’t fancy Mohaayed last year and he went and won.

If there is one thing we’ve learned from these handicaps is if they are in good order you have to run them and he is in good order.

Dan

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Dan Skelton

Since starting out on his own, Warwickshire trainer Dan Skelton has assembled one of the most exciting stables in National Hunt racing. Having enjoyed their first Cheltenham Festival success with Superb Story in 2016, Skelton and the team are hungry for more. Get the latest from the Lodge Hill maestro exclusively at Ladbrokes News.