Harry Skelton: Hoping Bennys can be King at Newbury again
The weather continues to be horrific, I was riding out with my snorkel and goggles on Friday! There are no signs of the rain stopping but hopefully, it will soon and start to dry out a bit.
It’s not affecting the horses, though. They all look really well and most of them have their summer coats which is great to see.
We were really happy with Emmas Joy at Warwick last Friday when winning the Grade Two mares’ hurdle. She is probably best at two miles and that trip is just stretching her a little.
To get a Grade Two under her belt is brilliant and we’ll see how she is over the next week or so before we decide if she goes for the mares’ novice at Cheltenham. She’ll go over fences next season and she’s going to make a nice chaser.
Ch’tibello ran another good race in the rearranged Kingwell Hurdle, but he’s got that penalty which is just getting in the way at the minute. I just have a feeling there could be something stopping him from seeing his races right out so we’ll have a look at his wind again and make a plan from there.
West Cork ran really well, we were very happy with him – as happy as you can be to finish second. He’s improved all year which has been nice and we’ll look at some targets in the spring.
I’m at Newbury on Saturday, where I’m looking forward to riding Bennys King in the Greatwood Gold Cup. Bridget [Andrews] goes up to Doncaster to ride five there.
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Virgilio – 2:05
He was a bit lacklustre and rusty on his comeback run at Huntingdon, so we need to get some runs under his belt. He’s enjoying his work at home and it will be good to get him out and going again. We’re really looking towards the spring with him, he’s got plenty to do in this with top-weight.
Antunes – 2:40
He has been disappointing on his last two runs. He might not have stayed at Wetherby. We travelled well and turning in I felt we’d go close but he didn’t pick up at all. He seems fine at home and the ground won’t be a problem, we just have to get back on track.
Bennys King – 3:15
We are very happy with him. He ran really well at Ascot but just got in underneath the last and it took a while for him to get away from the fence. He won at Newbury earlier in the season and will like the ground, so he should have a good chance. It’s obviously a very competitive race and conditions are certain to be testing which will suit him.
Supremely Lucky – 4:25
He has had a wind operation since he last ran. He wasn’t in the best form in the autumn and the ground shouldn’t bother him, but this looks a hot enough novice chase. We’d be hopeful rather than confident of a good run, but it will bring him forward and we can then look for something in the spring. You’ve got to be in these races as anything can happen.
Hometown Hero – 5:00
He is very straightforward at home and looks a jumper in the making who will stay well. We’re coming towards the end of the season so it makes sense to go for a bumper rather than risk losing his novice status. We’re biding our time before going jumping, he’s a nice horse for the future.
Destrier – 2:25
He stopped quickly at Cheltenham last time for whatever reason, so we’ve given him plenty of time to get over that. He seems well at home but has to put that poor run behind him. We just want to see him go out there and run a nice, consistent race. He may be a little bit better when we get some nicer ground in the spring.
Ballycallan Fame – 3:00
We know we’re in deep waters with her first time up over hurdles in a Listed mares’ novice, but it will be good experience for her. I’m sure she will be winning races in the future. It is very valuable to pick up black type for these mares and you never know what can happen.
Captain Chaos – 3:35
He ran his heart out at Warwick last time where he bumped into a live contender for the Grand National. He had a good, long sleep after that and we’ve given him plenty of time to get over it. Ground and trip won’t be a problem and he’s got a nice weight, but he can be a bit in and out. Hopefully, he’s on a going day because he deserves to win a good race.
Firak – 4:10
He ran nicely last time at Warwick and looks to hold a good chance here. Trip and ground will be fine for him.
Mabela – 4:45
She ran okay at Kempton a few weeks ago and has had a bit of a break over the winter. She’ll be better when the ground dries out in the spring.