Dan Skelton: Protektorat can thrive at Aintree
Ladbrokes ambassador Dan Skelton has eight runners on Saturday, split evenly over the meetings at Aintree and Sandown, and he gives us the lowdown on their prospects.
Aintree 11.15 – River Legend
Bridget Andrews is at Aintree for us and we start with River Legend. He hit three out quite hard at Warwick the other day and stopped pretty quickly but he seems in good form at home.
We’ve got to get back out there. It was a nice run in a bumper last year and I do think this is a horse with a good future.
Aintree 12.55 – No Getaway
He will appreciate all the rain. I have been waiting to run him on some really slow ground. Hopefully we get that. Two-and-a-half miles on proper soft ground is his trip and that’s why I am really looking forward to this.
Aintree 2.05 – Protektorat
He had a great run the last day and we are really happy with him at home. We have to try the step up to three miles and I think he is ready for it now.
Aintree 3.15 – Midnight River
He fell over fences last time. I thought he was going to be a very progressive horse this year and just because he fell over fences, it doesn’t mean he won’t be.
I would like to get him a clear round over hurdles and based on last year’s form he is nicely handicapped over hurdles. He just needs to get out there and see how he gets on first before I make any bold predictions.
Overall, we have a nice team going to Aintree.
Sandown 12.05 – Hardkore
Harry Skelton is at Sandown for us. Two miles on this track will be perfect for him. Obviously he won on his debut and the form has been boosted by the second horse going close again next time. We have to go and confirm that promise.
Sometimes it is harder on the second run because you have a penalty straight away but I am very pleased with him at home and we’ve got to get out there now and find out where the rest of the season takes us.
Sandown 1.15 – Colden’s Dream
He fell last time out at Leicester and I don’t really know why. It was a bit of an unusual fall, he just overjumped three out. The trip is fine and the handicap mark is workable so I am happy to give him a good chance in this race.
Sandown 1.50 – Third Time Lucki
He will be favourite for the race. He leads the standings for the two mile novice chases coming into the race and hopefully he leads it coming out of the race.
There is a bit of rain forecast which is not going to be an issue but ultimately better ground is preferred. I am very happy with him and we are really looking forward to running him in a Grade 1.
Sandown 2.25 – Nube Negra
Nube Negra runs in the Tingle Creek. Chacun Pour Soi comes over from Ireland and Paul Nicholls is running two so it is a deep race. I am delighted with our horse’s run at Cheltenham.
I think that form is solid with Politologue, going a strong gallop and staying the majority of the way so I have a lot of respect for that form. He is in great form and I am looking forward to this.
What will be will be, but we have our horse as well as we can have him.