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The inside track on Dan Skelton’s Friday Cheltenham Festival runners

| 15.03.2018

County Handicap Hurdle – 2:10

Bridget rides Mohaayed who was only beaten by three lengths in the race last year.

I just want little to no rain for him to have his best chance. If it didn’t rain, he would have a massively increased chance. It’s as simple as that.

The ground isn’t as good as it could be for Mohaayed – he prefers good, good to soft.

As it has rained a lot, I’ve moved Spiritofthegames, who was third in the Betfair Hurdle, to this one.

If Kalashnikov almost went and won on the Tuesday, you would be thinking that’s alright! The track will very much suit him and I can see him being a real player if he shows up.  Harry is onboard here.

Albert Bartlett – 2:50

Robin Waters had a pretty simple task the last day and then hacked round at Wetherby. Soft ground suits him and the trip won’t be a problem.

He is very straight forward and nothing fazes him. If he gets in there going to the last then I’d be thinking he has a chance.

However, this race really suits horses with experience and you can hardly say my horse has bundles of experience.

But he has improved and has some form with a couple of the favourites. I think he will out run his odds.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle – 4:50

No Hassle Hoff was third in the Rendlesham last time. He will like the track and he will love the ground if it’s soft.

He will love it if they go quick, it will really suit him. I see him running a big race and I think he can be an each-way player. He is one who wants it to keep raining.

With the rain falling, Tommy Rapper will run here and I can see him running a big one too.

Bridget has won on him twice and the way will be run will really suit him. He won a Pertemps qualifier last time and two novice hurdles before then.

He was bang in there turning in in last year’s Albert Bartlett and I can see him being a player. I am excited about him this week.

Grand Annual Challenge Cup Chase – 5:30

Born Survivor loves two miles on soft ground. This looks the obvious race for him. He ran well last year and was only beaten by a handful of lengths.

He just didn’t finish as well as we’d hoped over two-and-a-half so the drop back in trip will suit.

He comes here fresh and there are no negatives. I can see him having an each-way chance.

North Hill Harvey swerved the Arkle for here.

He is a graded horse with graded form and in a handicap is sometimes the appropriate way to go.

Hopefully it’s the right call and he is nearly favourite for this so it appears we have done the right thing.




Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.