Dan Skelton discusses his Ladbrokes Winter Carnival runners
We have four runners at Newbury on Friday, the first day of the two-day Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. We start with My Drogo in the maiden hurdle.
Mr Drogo (12:15) is a horse we like an awful lot. He was second in a bumper at Cheltenham on his debut which gives you an indication of what we think of him.
Obviously, this is his first run over hurdles. We’ve done loads of jumping with him at home and he is ready to get started. There are a couple of fancy ones in here but I think this is a very nice horse and I hope he will run really well.
Next up is Real Stone (13:15) who caused a 50/1 upset at Aintree when he won in October. That was a shock to us too, but he’s a horse that I thought would make up into a nice horse, I just didn’t think it would happen this soon.
He is obviously a lot more intelligent at the track than he appears at home, where he looks like he needs his hand holding. I was very impressed with what he did at Aintree, where he joined in late and won quite nicely.
This is a big step, he has a penalty to carry and meets some horses who have had a run or two but he is in good form.
Oldgrangewood (14:25) tackles the Handicap Chase which he won last year. He has 11st 4lb, which is a nice weight. I’ve been very happy with him since his run at Aintree so we are going there thinking he has some sort of chance.
Aux Ptits Soins (15:00) runs in the Long Distance Hurdle, which is probably as competitive a renewal as there has ever been.
I feel against this opposition he is going to improve a bit for the run. In a race like this they will be turning the tap on from some way out. After having a year off, he’s going to improve for this. With a rating of 153 there aren’t a heap of handicaps he can run in so he’s got to get out there.