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Dan Skelton previews his weekend runners, including Ch’tibello in Cheltenham’s International Hurdle

| 11.12.2020

Saturday

It will be another big day for the stable with a runner in both the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and the International Hurdle.

Harry will be at Cheltenham where Romain De Senam (13.50) is our runner in the big chase, a race which I thought would suit him really well. He was staying on well over 2m last time. He has run in this race in the past when he was fifth for Paul Nicholls.

I would have to say he has a little each-way chance having had this race in mind for quite a while. He can go to calmer waters if this doesn’t work out but I thought it was worth a crack.

Ch’tibello (15.00) tackles the International Hurdle again. He has been a great horse for us and this time he doesn’t carry a penalty, which he did last year when he was fourth.

Hopefully he can be the best horse in the race full stop this time. I’ve been really happy with him at home.

We start the day with Shake A Leg (12.05) in the juvenile hurdle. I would have to say he is going to improve a lot for the experience as a debutant, but he has done everything nicely at home. It’s a lot to ask him to win a juvenile hurdle round Cheltenham first time out but I do think he will run well.

Born Survivor (13.15) contests the 2m handicap chase. Harry thought he was going really well at the November meeting when he made a mistake three out.

Born Survivor has not normally liked Cheltenham but we thought it was worth another go given how well he ran there last time. He’s a bigger and stronger horse now and has been in great form at home.

We have Ashtown Lad (14.25) in the 3m novices’ hurdle. He has been ante-post favourite through the week. I really like this horse. He is going to make a very good chaser in the future.

He stays 3m well, won a good handicap last time and brings good novice form into the race as well. I would like to think he will go very close.

We have two in the mares race. Aggy With It (15.35) has been quite progressive in novices and I have had this race in mind for quite some time. I would like the ground to be as good as possible.

Molly Ollys Wishes (15.35) is our other runner. She won last time and also has looked progressive. She pulled way too hard when she was beaten at Wincanton but looked so much better at Hereford. We will have to keep an eye on the ground as there is plenty of rain forecast.

Sunday

We have three runners at Southwell. In the bumper we have Softkore (13.25), a Cokoriko gelding who is a nice horse. I’ve done loads of work with him and feel like he is a proper jumper but one who will need time to mature.

A run or two in bumpers is going to suit him. I think he has the ability to win one, though not necessarily first time out.

The Hoax (13.55) contests a maiden hurdle. His form got boosted when one of Paul Nicholls’s won under a penalty at Taunton in the week. There is a Colin Tizzard horse in this that has a slightly better rating but I think he will go very well.

Freezing Point (15.00) runs in the two and a half mile novices’ hurdle. I have been a little surprised by his immaturity. I know he is only four but he looks a bit more forward at home than he is.

We are up in trip here. I think these hurdles will suit him and he should acquit himself well but I think he is a horse that wants time.

Dan

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