Harry Skelton: Sunday Preview
My first ride at Huntingdon on Sunday is John Locke in the novice hurdle (12:17). We rode him differently when he won over course and distance last time. He was highly tried last season and we had in the back of our minds to try and preserve his novice status, because he didn’t make his debut until the new year. He obviously likes better ground and the track so we’re hopeful of a good run.
Allmankind showed a great attitude when winning the Old Roan at Aintree last time and nowgoes for the Peterborough Chase (13:52). He’s been freshened up nicely at home since then. He obviously likes to get on with things, but I wouldn’t be worried if we were to get a lead into the race. Now he’s getting a bit older he races a little differently to when he was a three-year-old.
He’s got a penalty to carry here, but he’s a remarkable horse that’s as tough as they come, and he will give his honest running once again. We’re very hopeful.
We run two in the Listed mares’ bumper (14:57). Presenting Nelly won nicely at Uttoxeter when finishing her race off really strongly. She looks a good stayer and ultimately her job is going to be over hurdles.
Signal Point also runs after a good performance at Cheltenham. If she shows that kind of form, then she’s capable of running well too. They are two nice mares for the future.
Black type is very important for these mares for breeding purposes. We’ve a lot of owner-breeders in the yard who put a lot into racing so we’re always keen to support these races.
The big race at Punchestown on Sunday is the John Durkan Memorial Chase (14:00).
Willie Mullins holds a very strong hand, as do owners Cheveley Park with Allaho and Envoi Allen lining up against each other. Even though this will be Allaho’s first run of the season, I’m sure his trainer will have had this in mind and will have him spot on for the day.
The one I’d side with though is Envoi Allen. He got his career back on track at Down Royal last time and has the advantage of a run over most of his rivals. I can see him taking all the beating.