Dan Skelton previews a busy weekend of runners at Sandown, Hereford and Warwick
At Sandown we start with Riggs (13:50) in the EBF Final, a race we have had in mind for a while. I think a handicap will really suit him now he has a bit of experience.
This is always competitive but the track should suit him in that he needs the field to come back to him and there is no better track in the country for that to happen so I would have to give him a little squeak.
Langer Dan (14:25) is our runner in the Imperial Cup. We were very happy with his return to action after a break the other day. He ran better than I expected.
He is a competitive little horse who ran well in juveniles last season. The other day was a bit of a return to what we needed to see. Hopefully such a positive run can enable him to take another step forward.
No Getaway (15:35) runs in a novices’ handicap chase. He won over course and distance last time, albeit on softer ground. Stiffer competition and quicker ground will be slightly different but I don’t see that as a negative. He is in good form and hopefully can go close to following up.
We run Dazzling Glory (15:00) in the Mares’ Bumper which looks a very hot race. When she was second the other day she showed a great attitude to stay on the whole way at Hereford. We are not expecting miracles but if she could get some black type that would be great. She will go hurdling next year.
Debece (16:10) is making his debut for us. He is an older horse now but has some good form in the bank. Hopefully a change of scenery will work for him because he has pulled up in the last two.
Go Steady (16:45) was very disappointing in the early part of the season but he has come alive lately, especially on his last start. I have to give him a chance as I think the track will suit him.
At Hereford we have three in the same race, Hatcher, Marracudja and Solomon Grey (16:02). There is a shortage of places to run these horses.
Hatcher is coming back from a winter break. He is in good form. I feel the handicapper is strong enough on him at the moment.
The same applies to Solomon Grey. I had him declared at Leicester but it was two and a half miles and the ground was heavy, which he doesn’t want. I don’t think two miles is an issue but the handicapper reacted to his last win and he isn’t a horse at his age that I feel is getting any better.
I would have to think Marracudja could go close in this. The handicapper has dropped him and now that day at Ascot is long behind him he is on a realistic mark.
Mabela (17:45) is another coming back from a break. She has to have good ground these days but it is drying and it is as good as we can find at the moment.
We are going to Warwick where we have a runner in each division of the novice hurdle.
Finistere (13:37) carries forward some very good form behind a lot of good horses at Newbury. We have given him a wind op since and have seen how that has benefitted him at home at least. It will be very interesting to get him out again.
Calico (14.07) has a superior rating in his division so I would like to think he can go very close.
In the mares’ chase we have Danse Idol (14:37) who ran earlier in the week. This is a bit more competitive and she has something to find with the rest of the field.
Embole (15:12) runs under a penalty in the handicap hurdle. It’s always difficult to win under a penalty in the main season but he won very authoritatively the other day and if he runs like that he should win, but under a penalty has its dangers.
Diomedes De Mottes (16:15) runs after a break back over hurdles in the long distance handicap. He has run well over hurdles before over a big trip before so I hope he can be competitive.
Jet Plane (17.22) is a horse I like a lot, a jumper for the future. He’s done lots of work, has a bit of experience from pointing, and should be thereabouts.