Harry Skelton: Soft would be perfect for improving Elle Est Belle

Ascot, Friday

I’ve got four rides at Ascot on Friday and start on Fast Buck in the novices’ handicap chase (1:45). His run at Wetherby last time was a little bit more encouraging and he seems to have taken a step forward at home, so hopefully he can run nicely. This does look a very deep race, though.

As regular readers will know, we’ve always loved Elle Est Belle who goes for the Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle (2:20). She’s in really good form at home and has improved nicely from her first run at Newbury where she won well. 

She’s a high-class mare and we hope she’ll run well, but this is a hot race. All five of them look like they’re decent horses and have some good form in the book. She is improving and if it stays on the soft side, that would be perfect. 

Ascot is a nice, stiff track over two miles, and this is a graded race. It’s important for her to get some black type and this looked like the most sensible race to come to after Newbury. 

Faivoir (2:55) got the job done in the end when left with one other rival over course and distance last month. He seems in good nick at home, but this is another step up. Pic D’Orhy looked to be going well when he fell at Newbury and he looks the one we all have to beat. 

We run two in the Listed bumper (3:30) and I’m on Doyouknowwhatimean. He travelled very well in his bumper at Worcester, fading out of it late on which was just down to a bit of a weakness. This is a nice track to run a bumper horse on and we hope he can run a solid race but he’s by no means the finished article. 

I don’t think there’s much between him and Riskintheground, who is – like Doyouknowwhatimean – a nice horse for the future. He ran well at Chepstow on debut, and he will continue to progress as he grows and strengthens. 

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