Dan Skelton guides us through his chances on Day One at Cheltenham
We are all set for Cheltenham and our first runner of the week will be Maire Banrigh (2.10) in the Arkle.
She gets 7lb being a mare and I felt at Huntingdon the other day she only just got the job done over 2m3f in really soft conditions.
There is a bit of rain forecast but not a great deal. I think the ground should be perfect for her and two miles is definitely her trip.
Things are just coming together nicely for her. I am very happy with her at home. She gets the weight allowance and is high enough rated to stand a chance.
In the Ultima we run Cobra De Mai (2.50) and he is a horse that doesn’t want too much rain. He is back to his winning mark and I am very happy with him.
Roksana (4.10) is looking great and her form coming into this is much better than it was last year when she won this.
Last year she ran in a three runner race and finished third. On her most recent run she was second giving a penalty to the Stayers’ Hurdle second favourite Summerville Boy.
So her form is a lot stronger but it needs to be as she is up against Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle.
Nevertheless I am very happy with our mare and if those two beat her they will have had a hard race doing it.
We have two in the novices’ handicap chase. Knight In Dubai (4.50) had produced some fair form this season and then ran at Haydock on bad ground. That’s not a track our horses tend to excel at.
I have kept him fresh for this and Conor Shoemark has won two on him. He would have some sort of each way chance.
The same can be said for Beakstown (4.50). He doesn’t want too much rain. He looks great and getting him back on some better ground is very important for this horse. He’ll wear cheekpieces for the first time and Harry is on him.
The reason he is off this mark is because of the way the winter has gone. It’s been the softest winter on record. He can be competitive.
We run Redzor (5.30) in the last and Jack Andrews rides him. He ran all right the other day. He ran a bit in fits and starts but should be a lot smoother over this trip.
I am sure he will stay and he too wouldn’t mind if it dries out. He is going to be a 25-1 shot but 25-1 shots can win.