Grosvenorsport.com ambassador Harry Skelton reviews his week in the saddle, plus looks ahead to a busy weekend at Wetherby, Ascot and Huntingdon.
It was great to be back at Cheltenham last weekend and although we didn’t have a winner, we were delighted with Not That Fuisse in the two-mile novices’ chase. The ground was slow enough for him, but he got some important experience of the track which will stand him in good stead for the future. I think a nice bit of spring ground will see him come alive.
Getariver ran well in the two-mile maiden hurdle. I was a little surprised she finished where she did seeing how keen she was. She needs to learn to settle a bit better but she’s a good mare.
We couldn’t have been happier with Nube Negra at Fakenham on Wednesday. It’s a tough little track to jump around but he got the job done well and we’ll move up in class now.
There are plenty of options for him and we just need to pick the right one. We certainly won’t be running him on bad ground. He’s done nothing wrong so far and is an exciting novice chaser to look forward to this season.
I’m pleased to report that both Humble Hero and Aggy With It are fine after falling last time. They’ve done plenty of schooling and the key thing after falling is to get them jumping a few hurdles regularly to give them confidence. They don’t seem to have lost their confidence and we’re happy with where they are. We’re still looking at the Greatwood Hurdle for Humble Hero.
It’s a busy weekend for the yard and I head up to Wetherby on Saturday where I have a full book of rides.
Renwick – 12:50
Renwick was disappointing on his reappearance at Huntingdon last month so he needs to put that behind him. We’ve left all the headgear off and the step up to three miles will suit. He won a couple of races last season and let’s hope he can bounce back.
West To The Bridge – 1:20
This handicap chase looks pretty open and West To The Bridge ran a nice race at Carlisle last month. That was his first start over fences and the step up in trip will help him – I expect him to run well.
Vision Du Puy – 1:55
Vision Du Puy won at Perth at the end of last season on her first start for us and she’s done everything really well at home, but this is obviously a big step up.
Lady Buttons is a very classy mare and I’d also have a lot of respect for Indefatigable who is also very good. The trip and ground will suit our filly and we’ll see where we are with her after this race.
We also run Aweeminit in this, who is looking for some more black type after getting some at Kempton last time.
Proschema – 2:30
Proschema had some decent form on the flat and ran really nicely on his first start for us at Chepstow. He has been schooling and working well since and I’d be hopeful of another good run, but I do feel he will be more at home on better ground.
He could come alive in the spring and is definitely a horse to keep on the right side of.
Two Taffs – 3:05
It’s great to get Two Taffs back on track but he’ll come on plenty for it. The ground just got too extreme at Cheltenham last weekend to run, so we decided to come here instead.
This is very much the first step back, we’re not expecting too much.
Molly The Dolly – 3:40
The Charlie Hall Chase is the first real big chase of the season and we’re looking forward to running Molly The Dolly. She has done plenty of work, is fit and ready to go and this will tell us where we stand with her.
It’s obviously a tough race but we are getting weight from the others. If it’s really soft ground then Ballyoptic, who has already had a run, should go well.
Gortroe Joe – 4:10
Gortroe Joe runs in the closing handicap hurdle and in all honesty, has been disappointing. The handicapper has started to relent but he needs to start hitting form again to be involved here.
Northofthewall – 12:25
This conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle has been the plan for quite some time for this son of Mahler. Northofthewall was second at Fakenham on his reappearance which will have sharpened him up and we’d be very hopeful of a big run.
Hatcher – 2:10
Hatcher did really well in the summer and has had a good break since his last run. Realistically it’s going to be hard for him off this mark and he might now be paying the price for doing so well in novices.
We also run Yorkist in the race who has to put a disappointing run at Wetherby last time behind him.
Denmead – 2:45
You can put a line through Denmead’s last run when disappointing at Fairyhouse back in April. This is a very competitive race but he’s done plenty of work and we’re hopeful of a good run.
Cobra De Mai – 3:20
Black Corton keeps the weights down a bit thankfully, but he’s running off 153 which is a high mark. Cobra De Mai was due to run at Cheltenham last week but it was so wet that we pulled him out and decided to come here.
It’s going to be very tough for him and like I said last week, it will tell us if we go into graded company next. There won’t be any excuses in terms of fitness.
Third Time Lucki – 3:55
This is always a very hot bumper and Third Time Lucki has done everything nicely at home. We really like what we see, he’s showing us all the right signs, but this is his first day at school really.
Dog Of War – 1:10
Dog of War ran pretty well in a bumper at Wetherby in April and has done plenty of schooling and work at home. Hopefully, they won’t get too much rain and if they don’t he should run a nice race.
Global Ruler – 2:55
Global Ruler had some okay form last year and has been working really well recently. He’s had a wind operation and we’re expecting a good run here.
Mr Love – 3:30
Mr Love ran alright last time at Worcester but would need to step up again. Let’s hope he can do that.
We were all surprised when Wayne announced his retirement this week. He’s been a fantastic jockey and he’s a great bloke so we’ll all miss him in the weighing room. I’d like to wish him all the best for the future.