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Dan Skelton discusses plans for his Cheltenham Festival runners

  • Trainer, Dan Skelton has published some exclusive quotes on his Ladbrokes blog
  • Skelton says Nube Negra will go straight to Cheltenham for the Champion Chase
  • Shan Blue will drop back in trip and tackle Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices' Chase
  • Allmankind will take on Shishkin in both the Kingmaker and the Arkle at Cheltenham
dan skelton
Dan Skelton poses at Kempton Park in 2019. (Getty)

Dan Skelton used his Ladbrokes blog to inform readers about plans for several of his stable stars this week. All of the following quotes come courtesy of Ladbrokes...

We have probably exceeded our expectations with what we have achieved so far this season. We hoped we might produce a Grade 1-winning novice and we have actually found two over fences and a few hurdlers on the cusp of that level.

The older horses have been performing very creditably, led by Nube Negra who we always knew would be a good horse, if not quite as good as he has turned out to be.

We have taken the pressure off the bumper horses but have still produced the likes of Elle Est Belle, who has won a Listed race, Quid Pro Quo, who won on debut, and a number of others that we know will become really good hurdlers and chasers. 

Having a good bunch of older horses allows these younger ones the time to mature, to strengthen and to be the best horses they can be.

My Drogo, Third Time Lucki, Cadzand


My Drogo2021 Supreme Novices' HurdleGET 16/1 HERE
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They will all get entries in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. I think they are three very good horses with not a massive amount between them. They are all future chasers as well. 

Third Time Lucki is probably the most mature but they are all strong travelling horses who jump well. I have a heap of options for Third Time Lucki and I wouldn’t be afraid of running him in the Kingwell, even though he is a novice. A speed track like Wincanton would be perfect for him. He has loads of pace. 

Cadzand will probably run in the Betfair Hurdle and My Drogo will go to Huntingdon for the Sidney Banks. As time goes by I think My Drogo will become more the stayer. I’ve not planned which race at Cheltenham we would target. 

Allmankind


Allmankind2021 Arkle Challenge TrophyGET 8/1 HERE
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He’s been amazing. As soon as he ran at Cheltenham over hurdles, I immediately said ‘Let’s go chasing’. We schooled him over fences and I became very lukewarm because he wasn’t that great. Tim Gredley was very keen still and what Allmankind has done in improving like he has over fences has been remarkable. 

He looks very good. I don’t think there has been any fluke in his performances. He has a real zest for it. He is going to Warwick for the Kingmaker and if Shishkin turns up we will have a match there. We’re not ducking that. Then we will go onto (The Arkle Challenge Trophy at) Cheltenham.

roksana cheltenham
Roksana handed Dan Skelton his first Grade One win as a trainer in the 2019 Mares' Hurdle. (Getty)

Roksana


Roksana2021 Stayers' HurdleGET 14/1 HERE
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She will get an entry in the Mares’ Hurdle because she is the best mare in England, but I have a feeling that if we go to the Festival we will go for the Stayers’ Hurdle, unless the Mares race cuts up. 

She is really good at three miles now. She just got beaten by two better horses on the day at Ascot. I don’t believe the Irish have one as good as Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, and if that’s the case we are not too far behind them. I’m not afraid of a rematch.

Shan Blue


Shan Blue2021 Marsh Novices' ChaseGET 16/1 HERE
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He will probably end up going for the Marsh Novices' Chase. He goes to Sandown on February 6 for the Scilly Isles en route. 

He wants to come back in trip rather than go up and I think the RSA could be a step too far too soon. His biggest asset is his jumping. I’ve been delighted with his progress. 

Nube Negra


Nube Negra2021 Queen Mother Champion ChaseGET 10/1 HERE
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He will go straight to the Champion Chase. He beat Altior and, with Duc Des Genievres finishing third, the Desert Orchid form has substance. There was no fluke. 

The whole way round you could pick him out as the winner. I don’t think there is a case to knock it. Duc Des Genievres won an Arkle and ran in the Ryanair last year where he was beaten 15 lengths by Min. He’s given Put The Kettle On 4lb and was beaten just over a length in the Shloer. There are no holes in the form. 

I feel on any day at the moment Nube Negra will still beat the horses he beat the other day. I am looking at the next step rather than wanting to confirm what we saw.

Mohaayed


Mohaayed2021 Pertemps FinalGET 14/1 HERE
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I think he is an obvious horse for the Pertemps Final. He is qualified for it and is good around Cheltenham. He stays three miles very well nowadays. He is owned by the Watts family, who are Pertemps. 

I’ve always said he might become a horse that enjoys this distance. It’s given him a new string to his bow. He is in great form and looks fantastic. He was very unlucky at Cheltenham last time where I felt he would have won on a different day. He will probably go to Warwick next week and probably then straight to the Festival.

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