Dan Skelton discusses his Friday runners at Cheltenham
We have three days of racing at Cheltenham to look forward to and we’ll be involved each day. We start on Friday in the two-mile Handicap Chase with Azzuri and Born Survivor.
Azzuri (13:50) is bang out of form. He ran a couple of okay races back in the late summer, but I just can’t get him back to form at all. The ground should be okay for him though, but I would like to see a bit more of a spark.
Born Survivor ran okay the other day at Wetherby but just got stuck in slightly softer ground than ideal. He wouldn’t have the best Cheltenham record on offer, but we have to find some decent ground for him and he is going to get that on Friday.
I don’t know what to expect from him dropping back to two miles. This is a bit of a fact-finding mission.
Protektorat (14:25) contests the Novice Chase and I have been very happy with him. He was excellent at Carlisle first time.
This will be a bigger test against Southfield Stone who is a genuine graded performer and holds his form very well, so he has a good standard to aim at. He has won at Cheltenham before but he has to step up.
Later in the day, Wild Romance (15:35) runs in the Grade 2 Novice Hurdle. They have had a bit of rain, which is helpful and she won late on at Chepstow.
This is a massive step up but there aren’t that many runners and she could pick up some black type. I think she is a very nice mare for the future. When she moves up to three miles and then eventually fences we will make a nice mare of her.
Percy’s Word (16.05) goes in the last. He got stuck in the ground at Bangor last time. I think we will see a much better horse on better ground.