Harry Skelton: High class Viva Lavilla my best chance at Warwick

Saturday, Warwick

Greatest Star runs in the opening two-mile handicap (12:40). He looks to be on a nice competitive mark. We’re on the inside track, so hopefully we’ll get the best of the ground for him. He did it nicely last time at Southwell and we think he’s a progressive horse, so hopefully he has a good chance.

Fast Buck ran okay at Ascot last month in quite a competitive race. There are just the four runners here (13:18), but it looks quite competitive and any of the four have a chance. Sky Pirate has a lot of weight to carry, but he’s the class horse and Brave Seasca has been very progressive the last twice. We’re happy with Fast Buck, he’s come on since Ascot and is in good form, so we hope he can run well.

Viva Lavilla runs in the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (14:25). I think it was a good run last time at Sandown – probably just a bit of weakness caught him out from the back of two out on that stiff track in the ground. The winner had a lot of experience and age on us. We’ve been very happy with him since and I think the track and ground will suit him here. He’s a high-class horse who I expect to run very well. He would be my best chance at Warwick.

Padleyourowncanoe goes in the Classic Chase (15:00). Heran really promisingly up at Haydock on his first start for us. He has run over three miles plus before so hopefully he stays this trip. It’s a race worth plenty of money and he’s in good form, so I hope he’s got a good each-way chance. If he builds on his last run, he could be bang there.

It was annoying to just get touched off last time at Haydock with Riggs (15:35). He’s had a bit of a freshen up since Haydock and the trip and ground will be no problem here. With just 10-stone on his back he should be a player here.

Saturday, Kempton

Ch’tibello takes his chance in the Lanzarote Hurdle (14:40). It’s a valuable race and it’s ultra-competitive with 20 runners as you’d expect. He’s a bit longer in the tooth now and probably isn’t as good as he once was, but he’s coming back to form and has come on again since his run at Hereford. Tristan Durrell rides him again and takes off a valuable seven pounds. He’s a class horse on his day and is another with an each-way chance. Cabot Cliffs also runs in the race. He ran well last time at Ascot, where he finished off the race strongly. He’s had a nice break since then and I think this 2m5f trip will be a plus for him. These sorts of races are worth a lot of money and if you can get a horse to run in them, then it makes sense to have a go.

Sofia’s Rock runs in the last (15:50) under Lorcan Williams. He ran okay when fourth at Wincanton and has come on again from there. He likes to get on with things and this sharp track should suit him well. I’d give him a nice chance here. We also run Lucky One in this. He ran no sort of race first time out for us at Doncaster and to be honest we’re looking for a step back in the right direction from him. He had a nasty fall at Aintree at the back end of last season, but hopefully his confidence is building.

Saturday, Wetherby

We run a few up at Wetherby. Our Jet looks to have a good chance in the maiden hurdle (12:27), now that he’s dropping back to two miles after a wind operation. If he shows his form, like at Aintree, he should be hard to beat.

Across The Line runs in the two-mile handicap chase (14:12). He looked slightly outpaced last time at Doncaster, before staying on. Cheekpieces go on him for the first time, which should help to sharpen him up. Hopefully he can be competitive in this small field.

Blinkers go back on Shannon Bridge, who runs in the 2m4f handicap (14:47). It’s taking a leap of faith to fancy him strongly, but he’s won at the track before and does seem in good form. Hopefully the blinkers do the trick. Boss Man Fred is also in the race. He looked a little rusty after a long break when he ran at Haydock. I’d hope that he can be competitive, but on what we saw last time, it’d be tough to see him winning here. Ultimately, I think he can improve again and could come to form in the spring.

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