Harry Skelton Preview: Hoping Faivoir can go two better than last year

Saturday, Kelso

I start off with Sholokjack in the Premier Novices’ Hurdle (13:32), a race we won with My Drogo last year. He’s a winner of two races and now goes up in class. While he’s got a bit to find on ratings, he’s been impressive when winning the last twice and seems in really good form.

It’s nice to come here for a Graded novices’ hurdle, and although the track is a bit sharper than he’s been used to, that shouldn’t be a problem as he steps up slightly in trip here. We’re looking forward to seeing how he fares. We definitely see him as a chaser further down the line.

Wilde About Oscar runs in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle (14:05). I feel he could have finished a lot closer last time at Huntingdon if he hadn’t jinked out to his left at the second last. We’re putting cheekpieces on him and hopefully that will sharpen him up a bit. He’s got a touch of class on his day and the handicapper has dropped him to a sensible mark now. There seem to be some signs of encouragement after his last run, but he’s got to take another step forward.

Flash The Steel also runs here, with Tristan Durrell in the saddle taking off seven pounds. He was quite a long way back before pulling up at Wetherby on his comeback run. I think he can run better here, but it’s a competitive race.

Faivoir takes his chance in the Morebattle Hurdle (15:15). He ran well in the race last year, when perhaps just doing too much in the early stages. I think I’ll hold on to him a little bit more than I did that day. He looks competitively handicapped, so we’re looking for a good run. Buveur D’Air’s presence means everyone else carries less weight.

Saturday, Doncaster

Bridget goes to Doncaster and starts off with Get A Tonic in the Listed mares’ novice hurdle (14:20). This step up to three miles shouldn’t be a problem and she looks good at the weights, as she’s by some way the highest rated. It was a good run last time at Warwick and if she performs like that, she should take some beating.

In the two-mile handicap chase (14:55) we run King D’Argent. He ran quite well at Doncaster last time, in a race won by Funambule Sivola. To be honest, we’ve just been waiting to get him out and get a run into him. I think he should come to the fore when the ground starts drying out in the spring.

Soyouthinksoagain runs in the Grimthorpe (15:30). He has been improving nicely and got the job done well at Catterick last time. Three miles two around here should suit him and while he’s got to improve again, I don’t think the handicapper has caught up with him yet.

Duke Of Bronte lines up in the novice hurdle (16:40). It was a promising effort on his comeback run at Fontwell after an extremely long layoff. Sometimes these horses don’t tend to run as well on their second start, and ‘bounce’ as we say. He was a high-class horse on the Flat and if he doesn’t bounce he should have a good chance.

In the bumper (17:15) we run Pembroke. He looks a good, galloping sort of a horse so the track shouldn’t be a problem for him. He ran quite promisingly in two point-to-points so has had a bit of racecourse experience. If the ground does get testing, he should be able to see his race out fine. We’re hopeful of a good run from him.

Saturday, Newbury

We’ve two at Newbury on Saturday, beginning with Amoola Gold in the Greatwood Handicap Chase (13:50) over two-and-a-half-miles. They didn’t really go quick enough for him at Warwick last time, as he needs a fast pace upfront and for the race to come back to him, but he still stayed on nicely and it was another good effort.

He’s run well at Newbury before, and the long straight and run from the back of the last fence should certainly be a help to him. The handicapper has him where he wants him, so we’re using Jack Andrews’ five-pound claim and hopefully that helps him. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t run well again.

Steal My Sunshine runs in the bumper (16:47). We very much see him as a future chaser, and he is a work in progress. He stayed on quite nicely on his debut at Uttoxeter in the autumn and has had a nice break since then. We would love to see him stretch out and gallop to the line and are just hopeful of a promising run. Things should fall into place when he starts out over an obstacle and more of a trip next season.








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