Dan Skelton discusses Saturday’s runners, including Ardlethen in the Ladbrokes Trophy
We will be busy at two meetings on Saturday with Newbury being the main fixture of the day where the marquee race is the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Ardlethen (15.00) will be our representative. He has had a run. It was a very competitive intermediate chase that he ran in and I thought he ran okay. He didn’t trouble the principals but on ratings he probably wasn’t entitled to.
He is much better off in a handicap, although having said that this is probably the most competitive handicap of the whole year, let alone the winter.
We know we are biting off a lot but I think the trip will be fine, the ground is fine, he has a low weight and he has a run under his belt. So there are a lot of positives.
He hasn’t shown the form of some of the others but that’s why he is near the bottom of the handicap. I’d like to think he will go and run very well.
On the same card we have Captain Chaos (13.15) in the Peter O’Sullevan Chase. He’s been struggling for a bit of form recently.
Hopefully he can spring off this better ground and can go and run nicely so we can start rebuilding his season because it just hasn’t happened yet.
Flash The Steel (13.50) was unlucky last week when he fell. It was a weird fall, he jumped the hurdle fine, just didn’t land at Haydock. He reappears quickly.
He schooled in the week, jumped nicely, he’s fresh and well. I thought he was going to be competitive at Haydock, I think he can be competitive here.
We have two in the 2m handicap chase. Marracudja (15.35) is coming down to a more realistic mark after the handicapper battered him last year.
It’s not looking like he is going to jump in and win but last time was definitely a step in the right direction despite a mid race blunder.
Hatcher (15.35) should like the ground and the flat track, as he didn’t really like Cheltenham last time. But he does have the highest mark of his life to contend with.
We have one runner at Bangor, Supremely Lucky (12.15) in the beginners’ chase. Tristan Durrell takes 7lb off him.
He rode him in the Badger Beers but he probably didn’t stay that trip at that grade. He’s back in much calmer waters here and I would like to think he has a bit of a chance.
Midnight River (13.58) will be our only runner. He runs in a novice hurdle at Leicester. He carries good form from Cheltenham.
He won his first start and was second at Cheltenham so I think he will go very well on Sunday.